The Twentieth Wife: Twentieth Wife Series, Book 1 (MP3 Book) - Indu Sundaresan, Sneha Mathan I have listened to the entire audiobook.ME, I deserve four stars for doing this, but I award the book only two.

I think it proper to award two stars rather than one simply because I did learn about the Mughal Empire – historical facts, customs and way of life.


I have listened to about 1/6 of the audio version. It is just totally terrible!
Mehunrissa, the girl that will eventually become the twentieth wife of Jahangir, the fourth Mughal Emperor, is infatuated from the age of eight with Prince Salim, as he is also called. Her fixation on wanting to marry this man and her desire to become Empress is shallow and revolting. She really bothers me. I believe this is partially due to the fact that all the characters are flat cardboard puppets, two dimensional figures. I usually prefer learning about life of the ordinary people, not royalty, so that explains part of my distaste, but not all.

This is the first audiobook that has been very difficult for me to follow. There are many people mentioned, some with several names, and I cannot keep them straight. I have to backtrack repeatedly because the narrator of the audiobook does not pronounce these names clearly. In addition there are many words I do not understand. These refer to things specific to the Mughal time-period. There are way too many words and phrases and names I do not comprehend. Often the narrator uses exactly the same tone for men and women. Everybody sounds so sweet. Not only is the narration off, but also the author’s choice of words disturbs me. Does an emperor peek out? No, he decisively views and pronounces with authority what he observes. For probably all of the above reasons I have found not one character I care for.

What do you think of these lines:

They stood smiling at each other with no words, just happiness. Salim reached out and pulled her veil from her head. He took a deep breath and expelled it slowly. Suddenly he ached to touch her everywhere, to feel her skin against his, to hear her voice and her laughter.

'You are the most beautiful woman I have seen,Mehunrissa.'

She tilted her head at him and.....

I call that soppy. I guess this is a romance novel. Not a favorite genre for me.

What have I gotten myself into? I bought the dam audiobook so I will continue. I wanted to warn others immediately. Please let it improve, but I have serious doubts that this will happen. Boy is this terrible.

In all fairness, my view seems to be in the minority since the book's rating is above four.