The third in the series of the “Satta Kings” series by author Prem Sikka is the novel satta king Khan. Like most of the earlier novels, this one takes place in a well-secured palace in the city of Disarm during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Once again, Sikka does a wonderful job of creating an intricate and highly detailed background setting, using highly colourful details to bring the period to life. Although the novel does take some liberties with the original text, I found that, except for a couple of minor discrepancies, the novel kept true to the timeline and did not deviate from the events as described.
The story revolves around a young woman called Aminah, who is given the task of escorting the Dowager Queen into court and back again after her husband passes away. To make matters even more complicated, Aminah must first stay in the court as a secret operative (in secret!) and then assist the Queen’s traveling escorts, Ghazi and Bakhita, in carrying out their secret mission. In the meantime, Aminah gets herself involved in the politics behind the situation, and the ambitious and cunning Prince Asif will do everything in his power to get hold of the diamond ring entrusted to Aminah.
The novel begins in 16th century Persia, where the Mughal Empire rules. The novel covers the period leading up to and including the partition of the country, when both the British and the new Turkish satta kings try to mediate between the two countries, and end up with mixed results. It then jumps forward to the present day, where the Dowager Queen is dead, and Aminah is pregnant. I found the character, Aminah, to be very like the description of Queen Elizabeth, and I enjoyed the way the author wrote about her.
The story picks up after Aminah arrives in the present day Pakistan and takes up residence at the House of Absolute Grace, a charity founded by her late mother. The novel then takes place at the charity over the next several months, as Aminah attempts to raise money to buy back her dowry, while struggling with people she barely knows. One of the things that made this book really feel like an expert vip top guesser was the way the author wrote in a stream of consciousness style, which allowed the reader to pick up the bits and pieces of each chapter at a time, without being lost in a mass of text. I also enjoyed how the author mixed past and present, using some familiar faces from the history of Aminah and her family to paint a portrait of her in the past.
What also made this book a very likable read was the way that it kept its plot firmly rooted in reality. Although some of the names and places might sound a bit fantastical, they were still based on historical fact and did not need to be explained away by some ridiculousomedy. This helped to make the novel not only an engaging read but also one that would make any reader feel more comfortable with the world of politics and the role of charities and the like in saving the world.
In summary, Sahar Wali is an email protected lady who lives in Pakistan and works for the International Rescue Organization. She is the black satta king 786 of Disorian Nigeria, and as such has been appointed by President Obama to represent the coastal province of Baidu, and attempt to rescue starving refugees who have taken to the sea to escape their homes. However, she soon discovers that her country is at war, and Africa is not her oyster. This future thriller is another email-protected vip top notch story that keeps you guessing until the end. Recommended for mature readers, and those who enjoy a bit of fiction that’s both realistic and entertaining.