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Lamb with Pomegranate and Saffron: when a great book inspires great cooking

Lamb with Pomegranate and Saffron: when a great book inspires great cooking

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3.35

(27)
|Views: 343 |Likes:
Published by Simon and Schuster

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Categories:Types, Recipes/Menus
Publish date: Jun 5, 2012
Added to Scribd: Jul 09, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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08/21/2013

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bookishjojo reviewed this
Rated 2/5
hmmm...so, overall i have been left feeling like a lot of potential was wasted with this story. it wasn't bad but it could have been great. i struggled with the early part of the story feeling like the staccato rhythm of the writing was taking away from the tale. by the mid-way point, i was more invested in the book and the characters and by the end, i didn't want to put it down, to see how the story played out. but all along, i was not super-impressed by the writing style. the use of poetry throughout the story made me long for more beautiful sentences/language from amirrezvani.i am glad to have read this book as this is a time and place i know very little about. if you are a fan of historical fiction (it's set in the late 1500s) or have an interest in the iran, i would recommend this book to you. i am also quite curious to seek out amirrezvani's firt book The Blood of Flowers, which was longlisted for the orange prize in 2008.
caj828 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Enjoyable read. This book started off very nice and kept me reading until I got to the middle of the book which for me slowed down drastically then started to pick up again. I found it very interesting how Pari lived and the people who surrounded her. Very nice story all in all.
kakadoo202 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
historical fiction base on a real life persian princess. interesting inside of court intrigues and family drama. first i was afraid i would confuse all the names but then realized there were only 3-4 main character and if you mix up one or two of the lesser characters it is no big deal. quick read. characters are not deep but honest enough to appear real. i wish i would have learn about the eunuch's sister and how she was raised and how her life would play out. maybe there will be a sequel.
richardderus reviewed this
Rated 2/5
Pearl Ruled: [EQUAL OF THE SUN] by [[ANITA AMIRREZVANI]]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 Equal of the Sun,Anita Amirrezvani’s gorgeously crafted tale of power, loyalty, and love in the royal court of Iran, she brings one such woman to life, Princess Pari Khan Khanoom Safavi. 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 protégée, knows more about the inner workings of the state than almost anyone, but the princess’s maneuvers to instill order after her father’s sudden death incite resentment and dissent. Pari and her closest adviser, Javaher, a eunuch able to navigate the harem as well as the world beyond the palace walls, are in possession of an incredible tapestry of secrets and information that reveals a power struggle of epic proportions.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. Anita Amirrezvani is a master storyteller, and in her lustrous prose this rich and labyrinthine world comes to vivid life with a stunning cast of characters, passionate and brave men and women who defy or embrace their destiny in a Machiavellian game played by those who lust for power and will do anything to attain it. My Review: This is not at all a poorly written book, and it's not at all an uninteresting one. It's so overwritten that I would swear an oath on my mother's grave it was written by David Mitchell in a burka.There is a difference between lush, ripe word-seduction, the kind that leaves you juuusssst on the edge and doesn't leave icky sticky puddles on your person, and the splattery overripe sloppy seconds kind of writing this book is.Give me Sexing the Cherry over this any darn day.Pearl Ruled: [EQUAL OF THE SUN] by [[ANITA AMIRREZVANI]]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 Equal of the Sun,Anita Amirrezvani’s gorgeously crafted tale of power, loyalty, and love in the royal court of Iran, she brings one such woman to life, Princess Pari Khan Khanoom Safavi. 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 protégée, knows more about the inner workings of the state than almost anyone, but the princess’s maneuvers to instill order after her father’s sudden death incite resentment and dissent. Pari and her closest adviser, Javaher, a eunuch able to navigate the harem as well as the world beyond the palace walls, are in possession of an incredible tapestry of secrets and information that reveals a power struggle of epic proportions.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. Anita Amirrezvani is a master storyteller, and in her lustrous prose this rich and labyrinthine world comes to vivid life with a stunning cast of characters, passionate and brave men and women who defy or embrace their destiny in a Machiavellian game played by those who lust for power and will do anything to attain it. My Review: This is not at all a poorly written book, and it's not at all an uninteresting one. It's so overwritten that I would swear an oath on my mother's grave it was written by David Mitchell in a burka.There is a difference between lush, ripe word-seduction, the kind that leaves you juuusssst on the edge and doesn't leave icky sticky puddles on your person, and the splattery overripe sloppy seconds kind of writing this book is.Give me Sexing the Cherry over this any darn day.
whitreidtan reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Iran is very definitely in the forefront of the American mind but as much as we don't necessarily understand the country today, we are almost totally ignorant of its long history. Those of us with an affinity for history might know some of the corresponding history of Europe in the sixteenth century but are unlikely to know anything about the turmoil of Iran at the same time. Anita Amirrezvani's historical novel Equal of the Sun, loosely based on the life of Princess Pari Khan Khanoom takes that history and breathes life into it, allowing the reader into the political intrigue, the harem maneuvering, and the limits of life for even the most privileged of women of the time.In the late 1500's the peaceful reign of the Safavi Shahs was in jeopardy when the current shah died without having named an heir. None of his sons were particularly appealing prospects to lead their country and the machinations following his death were numerous. Although not able to rule in her own right, the Shah's daughter Princess Pari is the most well-suited to lead the country, despite having been secluded in the harem her entire life. She advised her father on matters of policy and had a quick and agile mind. Because of her sex, though, she had to use others to help keep her informed about life outside the harem walls. Chief among these people is her eunuch and vizier, Javaher, a man with secrets and a hidden agenda of his own.Told from Javaher's perspective as he does his mistress' bidding, the tale encompasses both Pari's bid for power, her unsuccessful run at maintaining her influence even as her brothers become, one after another, the de facto heads of government, and Javaher's quest to uncover the identity of the man who murdered his father, a quest that started for him at the age of 17 when he voluntarily became a eunuch. As a Muslim woman of the time, Pari is destined to remain behind the scenes politically despite her intelligence and uncanny understanding of politics. She is cunning and not above manipulation herself but she does not seem to be willing to concede that her very success at ruling and preserving the country for her chosen brother is what makes her most dangerous and only able to hide behind her sex for so long.That the tale is told from the eunuch Javaher's perspective makes the tale of a woman behind the scenes directing her country and trying to seize the reins of destiny more intriguing since that allows the reader to see Pari's flaws more clearly than if she was presenting her own story. Javaher can see where Pari is pushing the bounds and yet he is as unmanned with her as she is with the reigning Shahs. The court intrigues are tangled together and leave the reader wondering where ultimate power will come to rest with so many people working at cross-purposes. Pari is a surprisingly modern character for the time period and yet she was ostensiby raised as such by an indulgent father who recognized and appreciated her genius. Javaher as a character is fascinating but his own quest is not as gripping as the power struggle choking Pari and the unmasking of his father's murderer is a bit anti-climactic amidst the rest. While the tale of a woman denied power may be a familiar one, this is well written, chock full of history not well known to Americans, and engrossing enough to make putting it down a real wrench.
mountie9_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
The Good Stuff Very well researched Fascinating information about Eunachs and their place in history Surprisingly fast paced, I was worried that I would be bored to tears, but the storyline keeps moving Plenty of political intrigue and murder to keep you glued to the story You can really see the authors love of the subject matter The poetry included is quite lovely, and quite dark and sarcastic which I enjoyed Princess Pari is a fascinating character, so fierce and strong, yet compassionate Interesting look into Iran and its murderous royalty -- man Game of Thrones has nothing on these guys LOL! So glad I wasn't a women during this time period -- I so would have been killed Interesting to see what happened during this period through the eyes of those who served royalty and how their fates were so intertwinedThe Not So Good Stuff Could have benefitted from some more editing. There are many instances of repetition that could have been taken out to make it a tighter story -- for example the constant mentions of having tea and dates was annoying (or could be just because after reading I had a serious urge for tea and dates and we were out of dates LOL!) Story does drag a wee bit, but less than other historical fiction of this subject matter The flowery language when they talk to anyone in power, while historically accurate, is seriously irritating Very disappointed that Javeher was a fictional character, as he felt very realFavorite Quotes/Passages"A fine silk rose can do well to hideThe pompous ass who is hidden insideTo know the truth that only God knowsLook beyond the fineness of clothes.Seek much further to what is below the skinShatter the barriers, discover what is within.By glitter and glamour don't be deceivedTruth lies beyond what the eyes have perceived.Ask "What is just? What is true? What is real?"Only pigs devour garbage without a squeal."The salutations were read by ambassadors from Murad III of the Ottomans, Akbar the Great of the Mughals, Zhu Yijun of the Ming, and Abdullah Khan of the Uzbeks, the most exalted and powerful rulers of the earth, as well as a few from those who ruled the less important Christian kingdoms to the west, Philip II of Spain and Elizabeth I of England, who were currently trying to vanquish each other.""Yet again, I was maddened by his lack of statecraft. After you kick a faithful dog, even if it has misbehaved, you would be well advised to throw it a bone. Otherwise, don't be surprised if it sinks its fangs into your throat. But it was Pari's task to try and tame him, since she had the most to lose, and instead she had merely managed to make him growl."Who Should/Shouldn't Read Historical fiction lovers will enjoy, especially if they have interest in Iran Those interested in political intrigue and royalty will be ensnared by this3.5 Dewey'sI received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review
brokenteepee reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This book is loosely based on the history of Princess Pari Khan Khanoom a woman of strength and intelligence but a woman and therefore ineligible to rule when her father dies suddenly without leaving an heir. In the fascinating tale woven by Ms. Amirrezvani Princess Pari is presented as woman favored by her father and taught all that is necessary to rule a great country. This is as much the tale of the fictional eunuch Javaher as it is Pari's. Javaher's father was murdered by a high ranking courtier and he made the decision at 17 to become a eunuch so he could enter the service of the Shah and try and find who killed his father and avenge his death. Little did he know that forces beyond his control were working with AND against him to help him achieve his goals. Pari and Javaher make a strong team as they work to bring order from chaos.I truly enjoyed this book and read it over the course of one long sitting. I found myself enthralled with the setting, the characters and the story. So many women have been lost to history and while this is fiction it is interesting to learn more about different cultures and the woman that live in them through good story telling. Woman were not allowed to rule in Pari's time and what a loss they suffered for it seems she might have been one of Iran's brightest stars.
susiebookworm reviewed this
Rated 4/5
It took me a little while to get engrossed in Equal of the Sun. Not being familiar with Persian court politics, etiquette, and intrigues, I found some of the interrelations between various nobility, other court members, and tribes to be a bit confusing. Especially at the beginning, the novel seemed a little underdeveloped, as if some details that would lend more development and cohesiveness to the story had been edited out, and the plot felt a bit rushed in places.The book improved, though, the more I read. I enjoyed the last 2/3 or so much more than the beginning. The plot is an intriguing window into the struggles of the Safavi dynasty during the late 1570s, an era in which the court was fraught with espionage, assassinations, weak and/or possibly deranged rulers, and much political scheming. The narrator of the story, a eunuch under the employ of Princess Pari, is perfectly positioned to tell the story, as he has access to the harem, the city outside the palace, many of the rooms in which politics are conducted, and, of course, the fascinating character of Pari herself. One of the things I most liked about the novel was the nuanced depiction of Pari. Contrary to many heroines in historical novels, she generally fights against her suppressed position in a patriarchal society not through openly rebellious, gender-bending ways, but by elevating her freedom and position through the mechanisms already set in place. And at the same time that she is the strongest political force in the story, she is not perfect; her flaws are clear when her ambitions and opinions occasionally get in the way of what is perhaps best for her political and physical safety.In some ways, I wish Equal of the Sun had ended about 100 pages sooner, when the story reached its highest point and a lot of loose ends were concluded at the end of the same chapter. Alas, history does not work the same way as novels, and so it's mostly downhill for the main characters for the rest of the book. There's closure at the very end, but only with heartbreak and tough compromises mixed in.Disclaimer: I received my copy of this book through GoodReads First Look in return for an honest review.
dketelsen_2 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I received this book free through a Goodreads giveaway contest.This book is told from the point of view of Javaher, an eunuch in 16th century Persia. He's in the employ of Princess Pari Khan Khanoom, the daughter of his former employer, the recently deceased Shah Tahmasb I of Iran. Equal of the Sun refers to Princess Pari, who was greatly admired by Javaher. This book is written as if penned by Javaher in an attempt to preserve the memory of the princess after she was murdered by agents of her brother. I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The author, Anita Amirrezvani, conveys the feel and mindset of an age and culture far different from ours. At least half my enjoyment of this book was the sheer delight in feeling such a different culture. While most of the book is fictional since not much is known about Princess Peri's life, the author, Anita Amirrezvani, used is was known about Iran in 1576 to weave a very interesting and plausible account of Peri's last year.And what a last year it was. Fratricide was in the air as the various sons of Shah Tahmasb vied to rule the kingdom, and perhaps the princesses were in the thick of things too. Treasure was strewn about in attempts to curry favor and the commoners were often fodder in the game. Exciting but dangerous times which make for great reading.
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