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Raiders from the North (Empire of the Moghul #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,044 Ratings  ·  289 Reviews

The mighty Empire of the Moghuls burst out of Central Asia into India in the sixteenth century. The first in a compelling new series of novels, Raiders from the North tells the largely unknown story of the rise and fall of the Mogul dynasties.

It is 1494 when the ruler of Ferghana dies in an extraordinary accident
Hardcover, 434 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Headline Review (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jan 29, 2013 Dyuti rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely A.M.A.Z.I.N.G book!!

No matter whether you swear by historical fiction, or have not ever tried the genre, you MUST read this book if you enjoy good adventure stories, which move along at breakneck speeds.Trust me, there is not a single dull page in the novel.

The book chronicles the life of Babur, a Central Asian king of both Timur and Genghis Khan's lineage, who later goes on to establish the Mughal Empire in India. (The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world was cre
Oct 18, 2012 Mala rated it it was amazing
I have outright enjoyed Raiders from the North and the other three books in the Empire of the Moghul quintet. I read the lot at one go, one after the other, without pause.
There is so little Indian history fiction that it’s a real treat to get any at all, let alone something on the charismatic Moghul rulers. I have so often been to the tombs and monuments they left behind but after reading this book really want to go back and see whatever I can with a new perspective.
I know that many may critic
Nov 08, 2013 Daavid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice read, but became bored by the time it was over. It included quite a few details, but since my only other Historical Fiction reading has been that of James Michener's, I ended up comparing, only for the sake of understanding which writer do I truly enjoy more. And Yes, although the Moghul era does interest me, I wish this would have been written by Mr. Michener. However, much is well put forth, with the Rutherford's research and travels. I am sure it must have been painstaking. The action ...more
Apr 30, 2014 Terri rated it it was ok
This will be one of those reviews where I don't really have much to say. I am at a complete loss with Raiders of the North, but I will try and loop some words together into what I would say is less of a review and more of a 'view'.

From time to time I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and try something I would not normally read and this book was one of those times. There are certain periods of history and cultures/countries from history that hold very little interest for me.
Rome and Rom
Arun Divakar
Feb 11, 2015 Arun Divakar rated it liked it
The path to conquering a nation is always littered with blood and iron. The new ruler braves rivers of blood and the detritus of decapitated bodies before he/she ascends the throne and finally reaches the summit of power to realize that all the effort was for a fickle throne. The beliefs, armies and backgrounds of rulers who walked the World would have been different and yet the motivations and stories have the same hues. The Mughals are one dynasty who left their indelible mark on India and the ...more
Nov 02, 2013 Abhishek rated it liked it
A good read and historically correct, but this is not a history textbook and some of the important characters are fictitious. Major events are true and described well. The lifestyle and atmosphere of the time is also vividly depicted. Give the book the liberty of a being a novel and it is a very good read

It tells the story of Babur, how at the age of 12 he becomes the king of his father's little kingdom, how he wins and then looses Samarkand - thrice; becomes the ruler of Kabul, grows restless
Apr 04, 2014 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, india
Based in a large part on the Emperor Babur's autobiography, The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor with much literary license of Rutherford to fill in gaps and to make a better novel, this story told of the life and deeds of an important historical figure, but I thought it nothing outstanding. This novel in telling of Central Asian and Indian culture of the 16th century does fill a gap in historical fiction of that part of the world at that time period, at least in English. This nov ...more
C.P. Lesley
Apr 02, 2014 C.P. Lesley rated it really liked it
I have read earlier accounts of the life of Babur, king of Ferghana and first Mughal emperor of Hindustan (India), but other than Babur's own, remarkably fresh and candid but incomplete account, this is by far the best.

Babur inherited his kingdom at the age of twelve and lost it before he turned fifteen. He took Samarkand, the center of his ancestor Timur's (better known in the West as Tamerlane) empire, three times,only to lose it a few months later. Yet he refused to accept defeat, conquering
Jul 05, 2011 D.w. rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
I got this as an advance review copy and at first could not get into it. Then on the second reading I stuck with it to the end.

As I look back at the book I see that it did not grab me. And as I continued through it, still it was not something I could say was outstanding. It dealt with a subject matter that you think could be rich for a historical novel. A conquering emperor who loses his capital more than once. The founder of the Moghul empire. Babur should be rich subject matter.

But Rutherford
পীয়্যান নবী
ঐ সময়টা নিয়ে জানবার আগরহ ছিল কিনতু খুব হালকা কিছু জানতাম। পাঠযে খুব ভালোকিছু কখনোই ছিল না।
জানবার দরকার ছিল দেখে পড়া শুরু করেছিলাম। পরে দেখি পড়ার মতই একটা বই... অনুবাদ বেশ ভালো ছিল। পরতযাশার চেয়ে ভালো। যদিও কিছু শবদ বেশ হাসযকর ছিল।

হিনদুকুশ রেঞজের উততরের অঞচল নিয়ে কিছুই কখনো পড়ি নাই। এটাও পড়া হয়ে গেল। লেখিকা ফারগানা, সমরকনদ আর কাবুল ঘুরে দেখেছেন। খাইবার পাস দিয়ে গিয়েছেন... ভরমণ করেছেন হিনদুকুশ! অনুভব করতে পেরেছেন সবকিছু। বোঝা যায় পড়ে... শকতিশালী বরণনা। চোখের সামনে চলে আসে বারবার।

সব ঐতিহাসিক উপনয
I did not like this story. I felt that I was being talked at instead of being immersed into a fascinating culture. I got tired of the.....hold on I need to find the right term......exposition. There was a whole lot of Babur explaining things to himself instead of actual storyline. Too much info dump and not enough incorporation into the story for me. And I really noticed that Babar was just a kid. He may be doing adult things but he's definitely only a teenager. It did not help me have any conne ...more
Manu Prasad
Jul 25, 2011 Manu Prasad rated it liked it
Shelves: review
The first of the 'Empire of the Moghul' series, which begins in 1494 when the 12 year old Babur is suddenly forced to become king of Ferghana, on the death of his father. Babur feels a strong sense of destiny and is convinced that fate has something special in store for him. His ancestry, which include Timur and Genghis Khan, only reinforces this belief.

But the events that follow his coronation prove to be a roller coaster ride and he is forced to reconsider his future. From being king of a sma
Karthik Vivekanandhan
The book had all the elements to become a blockbuster , a prince who is crowned king at the age of 12 loses his kingdom when he is attacking another kingdom and becomes a king without a kingdom and luckily fortune smiles at him and he is given another big kingdom but still realizes he is not content and decides to invade India and succeeds and creates one of the longest surviving dynasty in India,The Mughul Dynasty But the writing is so dull and there are no characters to like and follow.Its mor ...more
Amit Shetty
Sep 19, 2012 Amit Shetty rated it liked it
Nothing is Impossible

The book follows the epic saga of Babur, the first Moghul Emporor of Hindusthan (now India).
It has covered most of the details beautifully from his birth to his death, to all the hardships, joys and sorrows he faced, his arrogance and the grave mistakes that came from it and a taste of one of the greatest lineages and an empire that he would leave behind putting him in the league of the Romans, Napoleon and Alexander.

Once I started reading, I felt as though I had made a gr
Tariq Mahmood
Nov 04, 2013 Tariq Mahmood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Empires were not built on mere diplomacy. Actions and results determined your fate. By far the biggest travesty to Pakistani history is the omission of Moghul history from the narrative. Nations have to have selective history, and for some reasons Moghuls have not really featured as favourites in the popular history of Pakistan, which is a great loss indeed. For which other dynasty was able to rule for about 400 years or so? Their aura was such that even after the end of the the greats reign wit ...more
Nov 19, 2013 Paul rated it did not like it
I'd hoped for much more from this book.

I took a chance on this book as a step outside reading historical fiction based around periods of history I already had some kind of background knowledge of.

All that I knew of the Moghuls were that they were descended from Ghengis Khan; beyond that I knew nothing.

The best way to describe what I discovered between the covers would be to say all filler, no real killer.
There's nothing to endear you to the lead character, Babur - whose name means 'tiger', possi
Nov 09, 2015 Kartik rated it really liked it
The little I did know about Babur and how the Moghuls came to be was from what I learned during history class in school.
The victory in the battle of Panipat was the highlight of Babur in what we learnt using our text books. But here, the husband-wife duo who go by the name Alex Rutherford bring out the essence of Babur's real struggles in his life. How he lived to lose more battles than he won. How his army was reduced to a meagre 50 warriors with shelter somewhere in a mountain, and how he had
Apr 15, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Alex Rutherford is a pen name for a husband and wife writing team. In researching the author before the read, I found this important information. The book was long and boring at times, then it would pick up for awhile. I do not know how two people write a book together, especially a husband and wife. Did he write the boring passages or did she? I gave myself time for thought before writing this review. The author's mechanics of good writing were fine in that the story flowed. The character of Ba ...more
Aug 17, 2014 John rated it liked it
I ultimately enjoyed reading “Raiders from the North” (RFTN) by Alex Rutherford. Set in the hills of central Asia circa 1500 CE, RFTN introduced me to the history and places of the Asian steppe and the Indian subcontinent. It moreover stoked a fire in the unknowing ‘Murican in me to continue to learn more about the history of these places and cultures.

But reading RFTN required more time and effort (non-government-speak for “resources”) on my part than I would have otherwise preferred. The changi
William Bentrim
Sep 25, 2010 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-swap
Raiders From The North by Alex Rutherford

Babur, a young man, thrust into leadership of his small kingdom finds himself threaten from all sides. Driven by memories of his father’s tales of past family glory, Babur becomes a conqueror who shrugs off defeat and becomes unstoppable.

The Energizer Bunny has nothing on Babur. His ferocious tenacity in the search of glory just keeps going and going. I felt Babur’s compulsion to success was quite realistic. He was raised on tales of glory and may not ha
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
This was an OK read but I've read so many books that are similar. The problem with many writers taking real historical (and charismatic) leaders as their heroes is that they tend to overdo the uncertain, human element and forget that these individuals got where they did through a degree of sheer bloody one-mindedness and a lot of brutality (whether physical or political or both). They end up inventing friends (or creating personalities for genuine historical allies and associates) who have an al ...more
Jeannie Mancini
Jun 21, 2010 Jeannie Mancini rated it liked it
Raiders from the North, Alex Rutherford’s historical novel debut, for me was one of those “close but no cigar” situations. Receiving an Advanced Readers Copy that had a cover endorsement from author Wilbur Smith, and a tout that this series was going be the newest historical epic for fans of Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell, had me very excited to read it.

In the realm of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, neighbor to Pakistan, India and Persia in the later part of the 15th century, this first installment
May 29, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Following the rise and fall (and rise, then fall, then rise) of the first of the Moghul (or "Mughal", depending on where you read it) emperor of Hindustan, Raiders of the North is an exciting and rather pedestrian historical fiction novel.

Starting with Babur's coronation at age 12, following both his successes and failures, until his untimely death, Raiders is a great introduction to this period and area of history that many Western readers probably don't know much about. This volume chronicles
Isha Bali
Sep 25, 2013 Isha Bali rated it really liked it
Excellent historical fictional book about Babur - the founder of the Mughal dynasty . About his vision n sense of destiny which drove him relentlessly to find greatness. Historically accurate with wonderful additional, fictional characters added. Had so much action n adventure. Was a real page- turner with the suspense n the narrative driving me to keep reading about Babur's date with his destiny. I never felt inclined to read about the british kings n knights - they were so alien. Was so easy n ...more
Nilanjan Guin
Sep 18, 2012 Nilanjan Guin rated it liked it
Conn Iggulden introduced me to historical novels - stories of great personalities told as a story. I had read the first three parts of the Conqueror series by him and I wanted to know more about Indian history so I started off with this novel, hoping to acquaint myself with Babur - the first Mughal emperor of India. And though I absolutely do not regret having chosen this book, I have to say that I found Conn Iggulden's style of writing much more well rounded. The authors (Alex Rutherford is a p ...more
Nov 22, 2012 Suresh rated it really liked it
Babur had many opportunities – he was handed Samarkand and Kabul on a platter as he was a Timurid prince. Babur was a descendant of both TImur and Genghis Khan and became King at the age of 12 and was suddenly given a lot of responsibility and under attack from those who thought Fergana could be easily taken over. Fergana was his kingdom in Eastern Uzbekistan. From Fergana in Eastern Uzbekistan to Delhi in India must have been one heck of a ride on horseback. Having lost everything, Fergana as w ...more
Harsh Rakesh
Apr 15, 2012 Harsh Rakesh rated it really liked it
I would have happily given this book a 5 star, but if I do so it will be a mockery of history in my view. How many of us have read Baburnama? May be few and how many of us intend to do so? Again may be few of us. This is where I liked this book. It introduced to us family members of the first Moghul Ruler of India, like Ehsan Dawlat, Khanzada and Kutlugh Nigaar and his enemies like Shaibani Khan. The book also craftily re-tells the history of Babur in a new and refreshing way by adding more fles ...more
The whole book was quite refreshing, mostly by its setting. I liked especially the beginning where the main character does not raise smoothly towards his destiny, but encounters a number of disappointments. The whole beginning reminded me a lot of Genghis: Birth of an Empire which seems quite appropriate. The only thing that I am not very fond of is the whole move of the plot setting to India. I am somehow not very excited about the new setting. It might be partly because I live in tropics now a ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Rohit rated it really liked it
A really fascinating account of Babur's life from the time he became the emperor. This book was like a journey which I think many of us take in our lives. Alex Rutherford narrates Babur's life so well, that you can almost feel like being present in that era. Even for someone who is not very well aware of Indian history, Raiders from the the North can be a gripping story.
Aug 13, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing
I doubt there has been a book I learned more from lately. About a subject I'd somehow never heard of! Or really had heard of but misunderstood. I didn't know the Moghul empire in India was the several hundred years removed incarnation of the Central Asian Mongol Empire. Of course by then the Mongols had assimilated, and this group was a mix of cultures. Well-written and excellent in every way. This could be an unintentional follow up to the Ghenghis Khan series by Conn Iggulden. It is on the sam ...more
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Alex Rutherford is the pen name of Diana Preston and her husband Michael. Both studied at Oxford University reading History and English respectively. They are keen travellers and have now clocked up visits to over 140 of the world's countries.

Says Diana 'our greatest love is India where we've spent at least a year of our lives. Our research into the building of the Taj Mahal for our non-fiction bo
More about Alex Rutherford...

Other Books in the Series

Empire of the Moghul (6 books)
  • Brothers At War (Empire of the Moghul, #2)
  • Ruler of the World (Empire of the Moghul, #3)
  • The Tainted Throne (Empire of the Moghul, #4)
  • The Serpent's Tooth (Empire of the Moghul, #5)
  • Traitors in the Shadows (Empire of the Moghul, #6)

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“Have no fear of your ambitions.Stare them in the face ,fulfill them.Remember nothing is impossible...” 22 likes
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