Brothers At War (Empire of the Moghul, #2)
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Brothers At War (Empire of the Moghul #2)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  960 ratings  ·  72 reviews
The second enthralling installment in Alex Rutherford's Empire of the Moghul series.

1530, Agra, Northern India. Humayun, the newly-crowned second Moghul Emperor, is a fortunate man. His father, Babur, has bequeathed him wealth, glory and an empire which stretches a thousand miles south from the Khyber pass; he must now build on his legacy, and make the Moghuls worthy of th...more
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published June 10th 2010 by Headline Review (first published 2010)
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As with the first book in the series, A Kingdom Dividied/Brothers at War (depending on which country published your volume) is and engaging and quick experience in the Moghul world.

The second book focuses on Humayun, the favorite son and heir of Babur, the protagonist of the first book. Unlike Babur, though, I felt like Humayun makes for a less interesting and more problematic protagonist. Whereas Babur admitted his own flaws and seemed to learn from them, Humayun seems virtually unable to do so...more
The novel itself was fascinating, but paled in comparison to the first book in the trilogy: Raiders of the North. Not because Rutherford's narration is bad, but because I found Humayun nowhere near as interesting as his father. As Humayun comes across as a spoilt prince who squanders away his father's kingdom, I spent most of the book generally irritated by his bad decisions and lack of foresight. Perhaps that is 'the point' of the story, but it's a bit hard to put up with for over 400 pages. It...more
The second part of the empire of the Moghul quintet narrates the story of the Mughal emperor Humayun.

This tale begins where it left at the end of the first book,'the raider of the north'. Humayun the newly anointed Mughal emperor is trying to establish himself as the supreme ruler of the vast Mughal empire. The empire which his father bequeathed him lacks in nothing, it has limitless wealth, has a formidable military strength and stretch from the Khyber pass in the west to the Bengal in the east...more
Jahnavi Jha
I liked this even better than Raiders from the North. The writing was smoother and more skilled. We grew up with the notion that Humayun was the stupid one. He let his kingdom go, remained in exile all his life and died in a ridiculous staircase accident. Alex Rutherford has changed my entire belief. The depth of each character is truly commendable. Humayun's life is portrayed as a determined struggle to win back his empire. What is truly inspirational is the fact that he never lost faith in hi...more
Arun Batra

Totally grasping...if you are interested in Mogul history, these are the set of books you should invest your time in. These books made me imagine those times, the mere scale of activities, the hardships compared to today!
Just like the first book, this book is as tasty to read. At times though, the description of battles becomes verbose, but I guess that's ok as this is a book about an emperor and his ambitions!
All in all, a great read, looking forward to the third book.
This one starts off with an 'off' Humayun getting whatever he liked and whenever he yeah he is spoilt, annoying, womanizing and opium addicted. You have reason to feel great when Khanzada slaps him repeatedly.
However, he wins you a few 200 pages down the line with his kind heart (a bit impractical, but Humayun wasn't the tough ruler like Babur)and endearing ways: his falling in love, his love of family and his faith in himself to make everything right.
Admittedly, he isn't steely and...more
GS Nathan
Does not work for me. Alex Rutherford may have grand ideas for his books, but the stories he tells are not that compelling even though the material he uses surely is. The tension between Babar's sons could have been much more satisfyingly told, it is a pity that it is all a bit superficial...perhaps it is difficult covering a dynasty like the Moghuls in a few books... But the point is, if it is just a retelling of events a history book would do well. And, unfortunately, that is what it reads lik...more
Florence Primrose
This is the second in a series about the Moghul Emoire which was attempting to rule Hindestan. Babur, a direct descendant oh Genghis Khan, had struggled to capture and then rule Hndestan. Although Babur had four sons, he left his empire to the eldest, Humayun. In this book Humayun struggles to recover parts of the the empire as his half-brothers plot and raise forces against him.. Really good descriptions of methods of warfare in the mid 1500s as well as descriptions of Agra, Delhi and Kabul in...more
Lindsay Eaton
'Brothers at War' is the second instalment in the 'Empire of the Moghul' series by Alex Rutherford. It tells the story of the second Moghul Emperor, Humayun – who loses and then regains the empire bequeathed to him by his father in 1530. This is a good read - enjoyable and informative - although slightly less gripping than the first book in the series.
Abhinav Kaushik
Although it is the second book in the series, it became my first from the series and successfully evolved my interest in the series.

1. Balanced blend of historical facts and fictional narrative which presents a perfect cocktail in the form a heroic story-telling.

2. The very beginning of the book may not be a page turner but as the story progresses and so does the vicissitude of Humayun's life book evolves into adventurous, dramatic and inspirational ride.

3. Author presents a different shade of t...more
Mrinmoy Khataniar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Radhika Taneja
I give this book 3 stars keeping in mind the good and bad points of the book. Brothers at war was quite fascinating, however disappointed me quite a lot- not because the author's writing was not satisfying but because I expected a lot out of a "great" emperor. I think Rutherford tried his best to cope up with the characters and sequence of events but ,sorry to say, now the impact of this book is such on me that I feel that Humayun was portrayed as nothing but a weakling who inherited his father'...more
Manu Prasad
'Brothers at War' is the second of the 'Empire of the Moghul' series and begins in 1530, right where the first one ended. Babur is dead, and despite naming Humayun successor to the wealth and the new empire he has founded, and asking him not to do anything against his half brothers, there is dissension among them. Humayun thwarts an early attempt by his brothers to grab the throne, but spares their lives and sends them away to rule far away regions.

Despite early successes, Humayun fails to hold...more
Hari Shanker

Humayun lacks the charisma of Babur. Babur had given 'Hindustan' on a golden platter to his favourite son Humayun. But the dreaming star gazer and opium addict does not waste much time in loosing his inheritance. He seems to be too soft hearted to be a ruler. On the battlefield he is second only to Babur and their fate seems to be intertwined. Like his father his gains are short lived but he does not seem to have the ' never say die ' attitude. He does make a comeback but it is more luck than d...more
Masen Production
“Sequel to - Raiders from North. The story of Humayun. Its a brilliant rendition of Humayun, thou the author has hidden the true character to build a strong protagonist. In real life like Babur, Humayun too indulged in the excess of Opium and thanks to it had come out with weird dictat to his Viziers where one had to wear certain colours on certain weekdays. Also thanks to his star gazing and heavy opium he made each day of the week into a theme day (for example on Monday - Justice, Tuesday - Fi...more
Simran Khurana
Action, drama, heroism, deceit, loyalty, valor, honor, love, sex, betrayal,... this book is a complete potboiler for a movie. Alex Rutherford took the centuries old story, pickled it in a jar, and produced the finest work of adventure. The content is racy, contemporary, and honest. The characters are fleshed out to fine detail. The story looks at the macro view (namely the rule of the Mughals) and the micro view (the finer details like how Humayun suffered during his exile, his love for opium, e...more
Tariq Mahmood
To have your dearest wish fulfilled isn't always easy.

The second in the series of ‘Empire of the Moghul’, Babur’s hand picked successor to his new kingdom in Hindustan, the great Humayun. His reign appears as a mere footnote in the history of the great Moghuls as he was seen as he actually lost it all to the Pathan Sher Shah Suri. The book depicts him as a self conscious, unsure and dreamy young king who seeks isolation and gazes at the stars for inspiration. The pace is fantastic as we follow H...more
I still remember being taught in history books (in India) about how Humayun was a drunk, addicted to opium and had the inglorious / messy end of someone who tripped down a staircase. But with this book, Alex Rutherford has managed to dispel that common portrayal. Humayun comes off as a dreamer, ardent lover, skilled warrior who was dealt with the wrong set of cards and someone who made bad choices, enforcing the fact that he was just being human. In comparison to the ruthless Babur, Humayun is m...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charul Bansal
Its an awesome portrayal of Humayun's wife. As I child i had heard that he had had a tough life, but after reading this I realized exactly how tough it was. The best part of this book was it doesn't refrain from putting across the mistakes made by Humayun. I have a great respect for the second Mughal ruler and his bravery, perseverance to win back his kingdom.
Vinayak Makale
The first book had a promising start, Babur's rise to power and his determination to prove himself a worthy descendant of Timur, his fight against all the odds was fascinating which compelled me to read the next in the series. I must say that this one was tad disappointing because I have read Conn Iggulden's books before and these two books fail to match the Conqueror/Emperor series in terms of intensity, drama, twists and battle tactics descriptions which were so vivid, stunning and believable....more
Not as good as the first in the series. The main characters in this one, Babur's sons, were rarely sympathetic and deserved the bad times they had separately and together. (And in this case very little is fictional.) The story covers a vast area geographically. About the same size as say, the Western US. As with the first book I learned a tremendous amount about the Moghuls, Central and South Asia, and India. Really the 1500's are not that far back, and this explains a lot of the current situati...more
Shreyani Shah
Definitely not a literary masterpiece but a good fictitious account based on historical facts
Sanjeev Vadde
Good writing. Went into a lot of details revealing a lot unknown about the king.
The book is nicely written with suspense and drama. A real page turner.
In the second part of the triology, Rutherford narrates the life of Humayun. Though a bit slow paced compared to the first installment, Rutherford succeeds to bring alive Humayun's travails from his lackluster campaign to Gujarat, defeat at Chausa, flight to Persia via Marwar and Kucchh, his mortal fear of his brothers, reconquest of Hindustan and his death after tumbling down from the steps of Sher Mahal. Had to literally reconfirm some of the incidents mentioned in the book. In short, worth a...more
Rutherford works hard to glorify the tragic life of the second Mughal emperor Humayan, who loses his empire, his throne, and the most famous jewel of the time, while leading his few loyal soldiers through the harshest deserts and coldest mountains. When he finally does regain the throne in Delhi, fate conspires to have tumble to a a fitting end for a man who may have been remembered as one of India's more moral and thoughtful leaders, were it not for the pesky business of empire-building.
A couple of years ago, I visited the Humayun's magnificent tomb in Delhi. At the time, I had no idea who he was, or what he did, so I was delighted when I found that the second book in Alex Rutherford's Empire of the Moghul series covered his life.

Now I know that he was the second Moghul Emperor, who lost control of Hindustan (India) early in his reign and spent the rest of his life struggling to regain it. A compelling story, and I'll be buying Book 3 soon.
Palash Shastri
Though it read after the third installment, it was quite intriguing to know about the father of Akbar about whom we have only read a tinsy bit. This book gave me the insight to the greatness of the men that lived during that era, the sacrifice one made for their family as well as the treachery that was faced for power and wealth. After reading this, my respect towards Humayun increased by leaps and bounds.
Harsh Rakesh
Again the author though has tried to stick to the basic story of Humanyun, at times when he tried to get the creative liberty, his creativity doesn't appeals... kidnapping of Akbar, death of Khanzada are way too much far from reality. But overall its an attempt which must be appreciated as he has to read a lot before writing anything about one of the dominating dynasty of all time... The Moughal Dynasty
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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
More about Alex Rutherford...
Raiders from the North (Empire of the Moghul, #1) 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) Rutherford Box Set

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