Set in 16th century Hindustan (the modern-day Indian subcontinent), Emperor Akbar discovers an incomplete astrological chart. It may hold a secret that could threaten his life and the Empire.
He assigns the sensitive task of uncovering the chart's mystery to his brilliant adviser, Mahesh Das.
This journey takes Mahesh to the heartland of Hindustan. Mahesh however, was not expecting to fall in love. He is torn between his heart and his loyalty. Why did Emperor Akbar bestow the title of Raja Birbal on Mahesh Das? His closeness to the Emperor and meteoric rise spark jealous enemies to target him.
Amid the backdrop of religious tensions in the Empire, Akbar moves forward to promote religious tolerance and root out corruption. Rebellions against Akbar and personal attacks against Raja Birbal become more common.
After multiple attempts on Birbal's life, his enemies believe they are successful. In 1586, while battling the hilly tribes of the Northwest frontier, Raja Birbal is declared dead. But his body was never found.
What really happened?
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Juhi Ray is originally from India. She lives in the United States and enjoys reading, cooking, going on hikes, and vermicomposting.
Writing historical fiction was entirely fortuitous since she works in the medical field. Following her debut novel, The Final Puzzle, which tied for the Book of the Month honor on Discovering Diamonds blog, she has published a novelette titled The Empress's Guilt. She is involved in a backyard food garden project.
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