THE TWENTIETH WIFE, Indu Sundaresan's story of Mehrunnisa, the
Persian refugee who became Empress of India during the Mughal
Empire, is above all a tale of ambition. Mehrunnisa spies Prince
Salim, the prince who will one day be Emperor, when she is eight
years old. Despite her age, she determines to marry him one day;
she's ambitious even before she understands what she wants.
Unfortunately for Mehrunnisa, she is hardly the only schemer around
the Indian court. Prince Salim has rivals for the throne and