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Equal of the Sun

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  1,768 Ratings  ·  391 Reviews
Based loosely on the life of Princess Pari Khan Khanoom, Equal of the Sun is a riveting story of political intrigue and a moving portrait of the unlikely bond between a princess and a eunuch.

Iran in 1576 is a place of wealth and dazzling beauty. But when the Shah dies without having named an heir, the court is thrown into tumult. Princess Pari, the Shah’s daughter and prot
ebook, 448 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Scribner (first published 2012)
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Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, own, reviewed
If you are like me and love your historical novels but are sick to death of reading about the same historical eras over and over, this is the novel for you. I had no clue about how much I DIDN’T know about Iranian royal politics until I started reading Equal of the Sun.

This is one of those books that when you are not reading it, you are thinking about it. And when you are reading it you are fully submerged in the atmosphere. Anita Amirrezvani does an excellent job of fording a believable and re
Richard Derus

Rating: 2* of five (p68)

The Book Description: Legendary women—from Anne Boleyn to Queen Elizabeth I to Mary, Queen of Scots—changed the course of history in the royal courts of sixteenth-century England. They are celebrated in history books and novels, but few people know of the powerful women in the Muslim world, who formed alliances, served as key advisers to rulers, lobbied for power on behalf of their sons, and ruled in their own right. In Eq
Bonnie Shores
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: court-intrigue
This story takes place (mostly) in the palace of the Shah of Iran back in the 16th century and is told in the first person by a eunuch named Javaher. First person narration, imo, always makes a story feel more intimate and that intimacy is definitely realized in Equal of the Sun.

I wanted to show this beautiful Audible tapestry cover because it more clearly conveys the richness of the story. Vivid details of tapestries and rugs and clothing and accessories really paint a complete picture of palac
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I did not like this. I'm no longer giving specifics for books I don't like, because answering comments from disagree-ers steals too much of my time. Good Reads needs to add another check box option, "Allow comments on this review?" yes/no. Until that happens, y'all will just have to guess at my reasons for low ratings.
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Fascinating historical novel based in Iran during the late 1500s. The drama surrounding a woman, Princess Pari, who should be the ruler but can't because she is a woman, and her eunuch, Javaher, is intense. The author is able to convey so much through her words. Everything about this story is sensory. We can hear the lilting cadence of the dialogue, we can feel the soft carpets under our feet, we can easily visualize the bright colours of the clothing and jewels, we wish we could smell and taste ...more
The Lit Bitch
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have spent any time in the historical fiction section of your local library or bookstore you will find that most of the genre is dominated by Tudor era and WWII era fiction mostly set in England.

Let’s face it, those are the post popular periods and settings for HF. So if you are like me, you probably get really excited when you spot something of a new setting and era!

That’s exactly what happened when I discovered Equal of the Sun! Since I don’t know much about near/middle eastern history
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was on my radar because I completely enjoyed her first novel, the Blood of Flowers. Even now, years after reading her lyrical descriptions of the main square in Isfahan I can still picture the scene. If I was unfamiliar with this author I probably would’ve completely missed this incredible read, because the plot descriptions didn’t interest me. The publisher sent me an electronic galley to read so I decided to give it a try. The beginning of the novel is full of so many strange names a ...more
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20-16, e-book
„Lygi su saule“ buvo pats tas skaitinys paplūdimyje po žydrosios pakrantės saule – itin paprasta kalba, lengvai skaitoma taigi kaip tik tiko ilgam skaitymui be atokvėpio, įdomi, bet poreikio ryti neatsitraukiant ir įkyraus sėdėjimo galvoje nebuvo. Bet pažiūrėjus iš kitos pusės, dalis šių dalykų labiau neigiami, nei teigiami.

Kaip visuomet su tokiomis populiarią istorijos įvykių ar veikėjų interpretaciją pateikiančiomis knygomis, autorę neabejotinai reikia girti už pasiryžimą kurti tokį įpareigoj
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Set in 16th century Iran, this rich and detailed historical novel follows Javaher, a eunuch who becomes confidante, spy, and vizier for the Shah's brilliant, passionate, and greatly underutilized daughter, Princess Pari Khan Khanoom. As the novel opens, Javaher has just joined Pari's household, and as the Shah's favorite daughter, both Pari and Javaher have enormous access to the Shah's household staff, the courtiers, and the other nobles. For Pari, this allows her to better understand the facti ...more
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A terrific historical fiction, bursting with vivid characters! Fascinating period of history--Storytelling at its best! (addictive read).

I read this the week it came out ---not sure why Goodreads asked me to 'update' that I've read it....(oops...........forgot to check 'read')........ lol

Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Iset by: GoodReads giveaways
Full disclosure: I won this through GoodReads giveaways, and received an ARC. The finished novel will be published in June, and the ARC instructed me not to quote as the text may differ from the published edition. I doubt it but have abided by those requirements.

We delve straight into the story from the first page, in the first scene alone Amirrezvani utilises show-don’t-tell to establish our first impressions of Pari and Javaher’s characters, and the writing is good. The first scene flows immac
This was a 3.5 star review for me.

My thoughts:
• I enjoy reading the stories of women who are left at of his history, especially those who influenced or participated in the political turmoil of their times – so this was an enjoyable informative read for me.
• It started off slow and as this was an audio book I had to get use to the names and roles, but once the pace picked up it was a good “read”
• To help me acclimate to the times and the some of the players – I googled to see who were the shahs d
Ana Veciana-Suarez
Fascinating look at another era and another country. Truly enjoyed it.
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story of secrets, intricate conspiracies, and various forms of love: Equal of the Sun is a well- woven tale. The tale of a beautiful, intelligent, and ambitious woman in a time where men are rulers, all told through the eyes of a trusted eunuch, Javaher. He describes his time working at a complicated Iranian court for princess Pari of the Safavid dynasty. Pari and Javaher connect to readers' hearts and minds with their exotic world and interesting ideas.
This historical fiction paints a wonderf
I liked Amirrezvani's The Blood of Flowers better than this, her second book. There were many worthwhile themes in Equal of the Sun, namely the examination of gender roles, power structure, patriarchy, and sexuality. I sort of enjoyed that she told the story from the eunuch's perspective. It was even great that she tried to explore what it was like for men who were forced to become eunuchs. I was certainly interested in learning more about that aspect of the past. Though, at times, when trying t ...more
Sarah Beth
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this novel as a giveaway on Goodreads. 4.5 stars.

I was excited to see that Amirrezvani has written another novel because I read her first novel, The Blood of Flowers, and really enjoyed it. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this one even more. Unlike her first novel, which dealt with an impoverished girl working her way to independence, Equal of the Sun is set at the palace and the very heart of the ruling class of Iran. The year is 1576 and across the world, Queen Elizabeth I is 20 years in
Lydia [she/they] - Semi-hiatus
God demanded that his leaders rule with justice, but what if they did not?... Must we fear draw a breath?
If you wanted but didn't get a really awesome immersive Middle Eastern setting from The Wrath and the Dawn, then this is your book. Granted, it is adult historical fiction without a lot of romance, the narrator is a eunuch, and there's a whole lot more politics, which is confusing to follow, and there really isn't that much of a happy ending, it's a really good book with not that many fl
Theresa Leone Davidson
Another beautifully written novel by Anita Amirrezvani, whose novel The Blood of Flowers was exquisite and led me to read this one, a novel of historical fiction about a princess in sixteenth century Iran named Pari, upon whom this novel is loosely based. It is narrated by her assistant, and later vizier, a eunuch named Javaher (I now know more than I ever thought I would about how a man becomes a eunuch...horrifying). When Pari's father, the Shah, dies without naming an heir, she is the most li ...more
'Equal of the Sun' was a surprisingly enjoyable read. Although set in a time and place far from what I know, I quickly became enmeshed in the characters' world. Ms. Amirrezvani has a true talent for transporting her reader; I luxuriated in the opulence of the palace, I felt the heat of the spices in the food. And, even more importantly for myself, I wasn't able to predict the ending of the book easily.

The novel is described as a surprising story of the depth of friendship between an Iranian pri
Dan Radovich
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amirrezvani transported you to another time and place with THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS, and she succeeds once again here.1500's Iran comes to vivd life in her wonderful new work, and once again the story is centered around a strong-willed young woman. Based for the most part on very well-researched fact, the story or Pari Kahn Khanoom is riveting from the begining chapters. Told by her servant Javaher, a ficticious character who also happens to be a eunuch, Amirrezvani weaves fact and fiction into a gl ...more
Apr 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a really hard time getting through this book. The historical aspects are interesting, so you learn what life was like in Iran hundreds of years ago. The way it's written makes it hard to feel like any of the characters are real. Not that the writing is bad, just dry and totally unemotional.

Won through Good Reads.
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
More like 2,5-2,7/5. It wasn't an amazing book, but overall it was quick and interesting read!
Blogā: http://readingthroughlines.blogspot.c...
This was an enjoyable audio read. The narrator was good and the story was interesting. This is historical fiction. Most of the characters existed but few records survived to provide much detail. The story of palace intrigue and the daughter of a long-reigning Shah, trained by her father to be his closest advisor, is interesting. The narrator of the story is an eunuch, who had himself castrated when he was 17, after his father was killed as a traitor, to prove his loyalty to the Shah. It was a bi ...more
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Iran 1576: an intriguing setting where success was based on loyalty and betrayal, paradoxically. The narrative, woven with the poetry of Ferdowsi, one of Iran’s greatest poets and author of the 60 000 line Shahnameh, is one of love affairs, gender roles and political despotism. Equal of the Sun loosely mirrors the tale of Kaveh the blacksmith, the protagonist within the Shahnameh, but transposes him with Pari as justice seeker. It is all strung together with scholarly research and is narrated by ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hm. Maybe 3.5*?

I LOVED her first book so much, that I’ll consider this a sophomore slump, and definitely read another book she writes. I do like her writing style and I love learning about this time period - it sounds so beautiful and lush (in the palaces, at least!); however, I had trouble finding a character I liked and resonated with me, which made for a very lengthy, dragging story about political intrigue, which did not much interest me.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-fic
I tried… and tried… and tried… I pushed past my own 50 page rule and just couldn’t…

I couldn’t get in to this book. And my efforts became dread. So now I’m giving up. 

The writing is good, the idea sounds fantastic. But I couldn’t buy in or connect with it. I would zone out and have to reread. 
Mirella Ducasteele
Ik ben nu in mijn Iraanse periode, na de Javaanse.
Mooi boek, helemaal in de sfeer van de oude Perzische dichters. Voor zover dat hun geschiedenis me bekend is, lijkt het ook historisch correct. Geen romantische duizend-en-één nacht verhalen, maar even bloedig als de Perzische werkelijkheid.
Amy Rempel
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow start, but well researched and I loved Amirrezvani's use of language.
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free advanced copy of this book through the First Reads program, and what an exciting, wonderful read it was! Set in 16th century Iran, this book gives life to a historical figure, Princess Pari, daughter of the Shah. When the Shah dies without designating an heir, the palace becomes a madhouse with multiple sons claiming the throne and only Pari truly in tune with the inner workings of the palace. Because she's a woman, there's no chance Pari can rule as Shah, but through clever ma ...more
When Javaher came to the Iranian court, he did so with a secret mission: he intended to find out who murdered his father, and then return the favor. So intent was he on this that he had himself made a eunuch to qualify for court service. He quickly found himself at the side of an extraordinary woman, the Princess Pari -- who, standing in for her aging father, effectively ran the government. But when the shah died without designating a successor, both the realm and the palace are thrown into chao ...more
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Play Book Tag: Equal of the Sun- by Anita Amirrezvani- 3.5 stars 4 17 Feb 09, 2018 02:51PM  
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Anita Amirrezvani is the author of the forthcoming novel Equal of the Sun, which was published by Scribner in June, 2012. Her first novel, The Blood of Flowers, has appeared in more than 25 languages and was long-listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction. She teaches at the California College of the Arts and at Sonoma State University.

More about Anita Amirrezvani...

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“I recognized the poem from Maulana Rumi and felt touched to the depths of my heart when I realized that Pari was committing both of us to God’s care. “I will never abandon you. You are the star that I follow always.” Pari’s eyes misted. “Yes,” she said softly, “you alone of all my servants have truly loved me.” “With all my heart.” 0 likes
“I don’t have royal blood,” I told her, “but we two could have been twins. It was as if we swam in the same fluids in our mother ’s womb, so that some of my maleness became hers and some of her femaleness mine. That made us strange in the eyes of the world, which does not care for in-between beings. We have both taken blows because of it. She was protean, as am I. She was fierce and affectionate and smart and unpredictable. That is why I loved her . . . that is why!” 0 likes
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