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Raiders from the North

(Empire of the Moghul #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,271 ratings  ·  361 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
ebook, 448 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Nandini Go to your nearest bookstore, find it in the shelves by walking down the many aisles / ask an employee for help, take it to the cash counter, pay the…moreGo to your nearest bookstore, find it in the shelves by walking down the many aisles / ask an employee for help, take it to the cash counter, pay the money, and take the book home, leading to you being able to read it whenever you fancy.(less)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  4,271 ratings  ·  361 reviews

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Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
David (דוד)
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
Arun Divakar
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 ...more
Uttara Srinivasan
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Babur Mirza is twelve years old when his father dies in an accident. At twelve, an age when his own sons are considered (by Babur himself) and still too innocent to understand the yearnings of power, Babur assumes the throne of Ferghana. With the blood of the legendary Timur-i-lang and Genghis Khan in his veins, it is only natural that his life is one full of blood feuds, war, defeat and victory. The book scribes a fictional account of his life's journey from Ferghana all the way to
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
Jasmeet Matharoo
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
this book is about life and highs & lows in the life of first Mughal emperor of the best historical novel I have read. this masterpiece is written so well, the characters and their backgrounds are described in detail and they paint a very clear picture in the reader's mind.
some characters in the book are fictional but the most important ones are historically correct.

the "Baburnama" is the main source of information for this book.
very well written by Alex Rutherford.
Tariq Mahmood
Oct 31, 2013 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 ...more
Sep 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
C.P. Lesley
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
Nilanjan Guin
Conn Iggulden introduced me to historical novels - biographies 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 ...more
Aug 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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',
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ramona Lazar
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good hystorical fiction. Evrn though I am not a fan of the genre, I liked it.
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent book with good historical context. While I enjoy historical fictions, this book could not captivate me through out. Well, I am still going to read rest of the parts as I like to learn about the history (not sure how much it is real history v/s fiction - but I get the drift)

Jeannie Mancini
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
Abhi Gupte
Interesting area to attempt historical fiction for. I really like the description of the Central Asian landscape and especially that of Samarkand and Kabul. But the story telling is really average. In the hands of another author (like Bernard Cromwell), this could have been a much more interesting read. But towards the end I thought that the subsequent books in the series were probably not going to break any new ground.
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Avinash Veeraraghav
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benozir Ahmed
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Its natural that when you finish a historical/biographical novel/fiction your mind must remain sad cause you know these books end with the death of the eventful life of the protagonist who carried you throughout the book with him. So, my mind is still cloudy after finishing the book, after finishing the life story of the first "Moghul" emperor Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur.

Babur ascended the throne of Farghana in the year 1494 , at the age of 12 after the accidental death of this father. Always a
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being an Indian, one grows up reading about Moghul Dynasty in classroom history sessions. We remember the lineage way better than our own (obvious reason being one doesn't have to reproduce one's own lineage in ones exam paper, unless we are talking about Prince Charles, taking the exam!).
Babur, however was a slightly lesser known figure out of the lot, since he invaded and set up the dynasty towards the end of his life and only things known about are the various wars he fought to reach Delhi,
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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

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)
“Have no fear of your ambitions.Stare them in the face ,fulfill them.Remember nothing is impossible...” 26 likes
“No weapon is more powerful than he who aims it.” 7 likes
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