The Enchantress of Florence
The magnificent novel from the author of the Booker-prize winning novel Midnight's Children.
Discover this magnificent magical novel from the Booker-prize winning author of Midnight's Children.
When a young European traveller arrives at Sikri, the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar, the tale he spins brings the whole imperial capital to the brink of obsession. He calls himself 'Mogor dell'Amore', the Mughal of Love, and claims to be the son of a lost princess, whose name and very existence has been erased from the country's history: Qara Köz, or 'Lady Black Eyes'.
Lady Black Eyes is a fabled beauty believed to possess great powers of enchantment and sorcery. After a series of abductions by besotted warlords, she finds herself carried to Machiavellian Florence. In her attempts to command her own destiny in a world ruled by men, Lady Black Eyes brings together the two great cities of sensual Florence and hedonistic Sikri, so far apart and yet so alike, and two worlds become dangerously entwined.
'Vintage Rushdie...reminds us, in case we may have forgotten, that he can tell a story across East and West better than anyone else in the language' Sunday Telegraph
Praise for The Enchantress of Florence
From the sea of stories our master fisherman has brought up two gleaming, intertwining prizes ... brilliant, fascinating, generous novel ... the essential compatibility of the realistic and the fantastic imagination may explain the success of Rushdie's sumptuous, impetuous mixture of history with fable. By in the end, of course, it is the hand of the master artist, past all explanation, that gives this book its glamour and its power, its humour and shock, its verve, its glory. It is a wonderful tale full of follies and enchantments. East meets west with a clash of cymbals and a burst of fireworks. We English-speakers have our own Aristo now, our Tasso, stolen out of India. Aren't we the lucky ones?Ursula le Guin, Guardian
For Rushdie, as for the artists he writes about, the pen is a magician's wand. There is more magic than realism in this latest novel. But it is, I think, one of his best. If The Enchantress of Florence doesn't win this year's Man Booker I'll curry my proof copy and eat itFinancial Times
Vintage Rushdie...reminds us, in case we may have forgotten, that he can tell a story across East and West better than anyone else in the languageSunday Telegraph
Mesmerising, picaresque ... It is a boisterous tale piled high with sex and adventure and fantasyTatler
A hall of mirrors. They distort and flatter, and above all, like those mirrors set by exits onto dangerous roads, they reveal what is hidden... a haul of stories, gathered with magpie glee, arranged to glitterThe Times
(Rushdie) has a rare mastery of language, and when you read his work you cannot help but feel you are in the company of a mighty intelligence...Salman Rushdie is undoubtedly one of our greatest storytellersHerald
My first desire on finishing it was to go back and re-read it. Like all of Rushdie's work, the playfulness, the passion, the erudition and the sensuousness go hand in hand. It's immensely rich and waiting to be unpacked on a whole number of levels...it's one of his bestScotsman
With its richly sensual descriptions, larger-than-life characters and playful humour, Rushdie's latest contains much to delight his fansThe Times
Effervescent and bewitchingObserver