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Equal of the Sun: A Novel Audiobook, by Anita Amirrezvani Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Anita Amirrezvani Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781452677828
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (545 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Iran in 1576 is a place of peace, 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 closest adviser, 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 trusted servant, 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 an unlikely friendship 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A dazzling historical novel of ancient Persia, a fairy tale of universal resonance. Gina Nahai, author of Caspian Rain

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 2/9/2014

    " By the author of The Blood of Flowers which is the story of a 17th century Iranian girl's evolution into a master carpet maker, unheard of for a woman. Amirrezvani, the Iranian-American author, once again attempts to draw the veil away from the image of Muslim women, this time with the story of a real-life 16th century Iranian princess, Pari Khan Khanoom, who becomes a power to be reckoned with in the tumultuous court of the that time and place. Her right-hand man, supporter and biographer is a eunuch named Javaher (jewel). As is the usual case in historical fiction, the story revolves around the role of women attaining power by marrying powerful men and producing a male heir asap. Pari takes a different route. The author's accounts of the eunuch culture of the time is very interesting as is her treatment of sexuality. Recommended for fans of historical fiction and feminists. Gay women would probably appreciate it too. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon | 2/3/2014

    " Equal of the Sun By Anita Amirrezvani This was a time in history in the middle east when women could not go places where men could go. Thus they needed a loyal man to here and see all. This eunuch had wise suggestions to the young princess after her father the Shah died. She appreciated him. She also had a lot of famly that muddied the waters politicly. Life was not simple. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catarina | 1/18/2014

    " Excellent, vivid writing of life imagined in the Iranian royal family in 1500s. Gets compared often to author's first book, "The blood of flowers", and often deemed that it's not as good as her first. I would disagree with those comments. It's just a different type of story and because of actual Iranian history that she weaves her narrative around, she did a fine job. My only two criticisms are that she overdoes it on the descriptive writing of the clothes, food, interiors. I understand it creates a setting but she did it too much to where I just often skipped those paragraphs that seemed a bit long winded & didn't advance the story. The other is that the parallel story of the narrator's quest for justice for his father's murder is a bit confusing at the end. The motives and who did what remain unnecessarily obscured. Otherwise, a beautiful, heart wrenching, redeeming story that stays with you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 1/14/2014

    " Just started it. I am traveling this week so this book will be my companion.. It starts off strong. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 1/13/2014

    " I'm going to have to take it back to the library unfinished. I was intrigued by the reviews I'd read, and thought it would be interesting to read about 15th century Persia, and maybe learn something... but it's written from the point of view of the princess's eunuch, and I can't remember who all the people are, with their long hard-to-pronounce Persian names, to the point of having stopped caring... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 1/12/2014

    " As a lover of historical fiction I was drawn to this book. It was refreshing to read about and era and a country I had not experienced very often. The politics of the Iranian court was fascinating. Pari was a strong woman in a culture that did not allow women power or freedom. It was also interesting to watch her relationship the the eunuch, Javaher develop. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsy | 1/11/2014

    " A novel of based on Iranian history. a good read but having to refer back to the list of characters slowed me down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beverly | 12/8/2013

    " I enjoyed her first book, "Blood and Flowers" a bit more but found reading about a women's quest for power in Iran very interesting. Loved the characters and the machinations to learn secrets of what plots were afoot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 CarolynAnn | 11/9/2013

    " I'm so looking forward to this book. I absolutely loved The Blood of Flowers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danica | 1/29/2013

    " A quick read with very interesting historical backdrop. I just wanted the leading female character to make a little more headway on power than she did. However for the times and the place, Iran, I guess she had a lot more power than any other women. Too Sad for it to be a favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 1/4/2013

    " A very interesting insight to the history of Iran. An intriging story about a eunuch, a princess,a royal court and all the power plays involved in palace and harem life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mara | 11/13/2012

    " Great book. I loved the story, the characters, the detailed descriptions. It really brought me to another time and place. I read this book extra slowly in order to savor it...I'm sad that I finished it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 6/16/2012

    " I liked it, because I'm intrigued by historical fiction. I didn't like this as much as her first book, which I thought was amazing, but still a good read. "

About the Author

Anita Amirrezvani is the Iranian author of The Blood of Flowers, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize, and a former staff writer and dance critic for the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times. She has received fellowships from the National Arts Journalism Program, the NEA’s Arts Journalism Institute for Dance, and the Hedgebrook Foundation for Women Writers. She is currently an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and narrator. He has earned more than fifty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration thirteen times. He was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008 and has been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London. He is also an actor who has appeared on both stage and television.