Nikkhil Advani ‘Empire‘recently deposited on Disney + Hotstar. Directed by Mitakshara Kumar, the show features cast members like Kunal Kapoor, Dino Morea, Drashti Dhami, among others. This is a fictional version of the Mughal Empire between 1526 and 1720. The series was adapted from the novel by Alex Rutherford Mughal Empire, a volume of six novels which traces the rise of the Mughal Empire in medieval India. Published from 2009 to 2015, one per year, the novels consist of Raiders from the North, Brothers at War, Ruler of the World, The Tainted Throne, The Serpent’s Tooth, and Traitors in the shadows chronologically.
Adventurers of the North explores Babur, the fascinating Mughal Emperor, his attempt to replicate Timur’s legacy with the help of a loyal army. In Brothers at war, the action moves to 1530 where Humayun is now the emperor. Its vast empire stretches for more than 1000 miles. Through Ruler of the worldAkbar is at the center of the story. Considered one of the most powerful rulers, he built on the legacy he was bequeathed, expanding his empire from what was there. Akbar was also famous for his religious tolerance, a subject Rutherford points out in the book.
Even then, his tenure was not without bloodshed and problems. Rutherford writes about Akbar’s marriage to a Rajput princess, the turmoil in the arrangement, and the broken relationship he shared with his son Salim. In the fourth volume, The defiled throne, the action moves to 1606 India and Jahangir is the ruler. His reign and his throne are corrupted by his son’s thirst for power.
In The Serpent’s Tooth, the story centers on the Mughal emperors who ruled Central Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries. The bloodshed continues as Shah Jahan loses his wife and his son Aurangzeb watches his father’s throne.
Finally, in the last volume Traitors in the shadows, Aurangzeb is seated on the throne. His cruelty has won over his enemies everywhere, leaving him only to rely on himself.
Needless to say, the Mughal dynasty makes this an incredible play, an almost bespoke story to adapt for visual aid. Talk to VarietyAdvani confessed that he finished reading the volume in two months. “It’s a fascinating read, extremely visual and visceral – I found it fascinating and I couldn’t let go. From the description of clothes and jewelry and accessories and and swords and even how all the violence is done – it’s fascinating.
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