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Shadow of the Moon by M. M. Kaye

Shadow of the Moon (1957)

by M. M. Kaye

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Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye is a historical fiction novel set in India and details the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. Although this author wrote many books, she is probably most famous as the author of The Far Pavilions, which is also a historical drama set in India. In The Shadow of the Moon, the author combines adventure, romance and history effortlessly into one epic story of over 600 pages. Originally published in 1957, this is a re-read for me as I fell in love with this author’s historical novels during the 1970’s.

This is a lengthy story as the author sets the scene with many descriptions of the colonial policies of the East India Trade Company which had virtual control over the Indian sub-continent. Indian laws and practices were changed to British ways and this caused smouldering resentment that eventually flared into open revolt. The romantic angle of the book is the attraction between Winter de Ballesteros, the granddaughter of the Earl of Ware, and, Captain Alex Randall, who escorted her from England to India in order for her to marry her intended, the drunken, dissipated Conway Barton. This engagement took place when Barton visited England and schemed to tie the heiress to him. At the time Winter was only eleven. The scenery of India serves as a constant backdrop as the characters travel toward their destiny. When the rebellion ignites Winter and Alex are caught up in the turmoil and violence.

I believe that I admire this book even more today than I did back in the 1970’s. The author was born in India and knew that country well, but the painstaking research she did shows in the details of fashion, customs and politics of the Victorian era and the British Raj. The timeline of the mutiny is followed to the letter and she accurately guides the reader through the turbulence and violence. The romance was intense and satisfying and the adventure was engrossing. I was totally able to escape into this book and it was an excellent read. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Oct 17, 2017 |
Went through and read every M.M. Kaye book many years ago. I remember I loved all of them. ( )
  CC123 | Aug 10, 2015 |
Fantastic @ India

The author of THE FAR PAVILIONS returns us once again to the vast, intoxicating romance of India under the British Raj. SHADOW OF THE MOON is the story of Winter de Ballesteros, a beautiful English heiress come home to her beloved India. It is also the tale of Captain Alex Randall, her protector, who aches to possess her. Forged in the fires of a war that threatens to topple an empire, their tale is the saga of a desperate and unforgettable love that consumes all in its thrall. Filled with the mystery of moonlit palace gardens and the whisperings of passion and intrigue, M. M. Kaye evokes an era at once of its time, yet timeless.
  christinejoseph | Jul 28, 2015 |
My favorite book set in India. Adventure, romance, history, this book has it all. The last 200 pages you won't be able to put it down. I stayed up very late into the night to finish this! This is a keeper and I recommend it to anyone interested in India and historical fiction.
  Tiffalex | Apr 17, 2013 |
One of the books from dutch-flybabe's book box that arrived today.
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
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...and there you can see
Our English sun, convalescent after passing
Through the valley of the shadow of the moon.

Venus Observed
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"'Winter'! Who ever heard of such a name?"
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Shadow of the Moon is an engrossing historical novel set during the time of the British Raj in India, specifically just before and during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The story centers on a young Anglo-Spanish heiress, Winter de Ballesteros, born in India but orphaned as a baby and sent to live with uncaring relatives in Victorian England. Throughout her childhood, Winter yearns to return to the warm, colorful land of her earliest memories. At last, she gets the opportunity to return -- but it's to marry a man she barely knows, despite warnings that he's taking advantage of her youth and inexperience. And as she reaches India, the storm clouds of the Rebellion are gathering.
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Shortly before the great Indian mutiny, young Winter de Ballesteros leaves England for India to marry Conway Barton, the Commissioner of Lunjore, whom she has not seen since childhood.

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