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Equal of the Sun    by Anita Amirrezvani order for
Equal of the Sun
by Anita Amirrezvani
Order:  USA  Can
Scribner, 2013 (2012)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Life in Iran in the mid-1500s, when the Safavid Shahs ruled, was truly turbulent. In Equal of the Sun, Anita Amirrezvani takes us right into the palace so that we can experience first-hand the devastating politics of the day.

Pari, beloved daughter of Tahmasb Shah, has been well schooled by her father. When he dies, she feels able to take over - even though she is a woman. But she is thwarted at every turn. Her eunuch, Javaher, who has his own reasons for wanting to be of service, is the only one she can trust. Both of them never stop trying to save Iran from itself and its enemies.

The violence that takes place in the story is offset by beautiful passages of poetry out of the work of Rumi and the Shahnameh, among others. The efforts of some of the rulers to encourage the arts and music are described in this work. Although Pari and the other members of the royal family are historical characters, it is the servants of the palace harem, the invented characters, who make the story as interesting as it is.

This second work of Amirrezvani is perhaps not as gripping as her first, The Blood of Flowers, but it still offers a worthy view of Iran's history.

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