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Download The Twentieth Wife Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Twentieth Wife, by Indu Sundaresan Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,004 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Indu Sundaresan Narrator: Sneha Mathan Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An enchanting historical epic of grand passion and adventure, this debut novel tells the captivating story of one of India’s most controversial empresses, a woman whose brilliance and determination trumped myriad obstacles and whose love shaped the course of the Mughal Empire.

Skillfully blending the textures of historical reality with the rich and sensual imaginings of a timeless fairy tale, The Twentieth Wife sweeps listeners up in Mehrunnisa’s embattled love with Prince Salim, and in the bedazzling destiny of a woman, a legend in her own time, who was all but lost to history until now.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A sweeping, carefully researched tale of desire, sexual mores, and political treachery set against the backdrop of sixteenth and seventeenth century India…describing life in the royal court in convincing detail and employing authentic period terms throughout.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Sundaresan writes in the great tradition of the Indian epic, an art she carries forward with grace and brilliance…A remarkably readable book.”

    Library Journal

  • “[Sundaresan] regales us with a wonderfully plausible story shimmering with saffron and splendor. Sneha Mathan’s rich voice, with its depth and variety of accents, tinged with a hint of British India, sweeps us into this exotic world. She portrays a Mehrunnisa who is sweet yet who is capable of being devious when necessary. The sequel is out, but not yet in audio. What a treat if Mathan were to read it.”


  • “The narration is splendid, and the large number of exotic-to-Western-ears Hindi words, names, and phrases shine in Mathan’s deep, rich, beautiful voice with a British inflection.” 


  • “Mathan smoothly indicates the sophistication of Mughal Empire royals and the few who are qualified to serve them. Her range deepens resonantly when reading the male characters; she is especially convincing in the role of Prince Salim, who is worshiped by the bold and witty Mehrunnisa. Mathan also does a good job with the many Indian words that comprise the text.”


  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Naila | 2/20/2014

    " Beautifully written! Sundesaran weaves the story with such vivid detail. I felt like I was there! Would highly recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Simone | 2/18/2014

    " This book was given to me by a friend and recommended. Once I got into the book it read really quickly. It's your typical historical fiction with a heavy romance thread. I have to admit I think the book's title gives the eventual ending away, so there's not much suspense. Still the world of the book, 15th century India, full of harems, emperor's, jewels and fighting is an interesting one, richly and lushly detailed in the book. It's a fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sheri | 2/13/2014

    " This was a really wonderful and easy read. Lots of entanglement, suspense and interesting characters. However, it went on and on. If the author had brought it to a conclusion earlier, I would have rated it much higher. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by April Ann | 2/3/2014

    " The characterization was lacking, so I stopped reading this. "

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