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.
©1956, 1957, 1979 M.M. Kaye (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Great romantic action
It's hard to say which character is my favourite. Apart from the two main protagonists who we all love, Conway Barton and Lord Carlyon are great characters to hate as they are such monuments of selfishness and self-interest.
I love Tara's weird and wonderful English accents. It's always a mystery to me why anyone would get an American to read a story based in colonial India, but Tara valiantly struggles with a variety of English accents. Though they don't always work (some of the English officers sound a bit on the cockney side!), I got used to them and started to enjoy their effect. They are slightly annoying at first, but stick with it and they become old friends!
The horror and savage nature of the Indian mutiny is so well told from an English point of view. M M Kaye doesn't flinch from some pretty unpleasant details, and really gives a powerful feeling of what it might have been like to be there. I particularly liked (well, not liked, but you know what I mean) the individual deaths on the first day of the mutiny of characters who were either very minor or did not appear in the book apart from to die - their deaths were moving, horrific and helped to understand all that happens afterwards.
Everything you want from historical fiction - personal stories against a grand backdrop of real life-changing events, an exotic location, heroes and idiots, courage and cowardice, love and hate, life and death on a grand scale. What's not to like?
This is a fabulous Indian epic weaving between fact and fiction, dealing with the year prior to and the 1857 Indian Mutiny. The major characters are fictional but there is a good spattering of factual people and events in the narrative which add a modicum of true history to the story.M M Kaye spent most of her childhood and early adulthood in this wonderful sub continent, she had an innate understanding of the peoples and customs. Coupled with this, her family had a long involvement with India and one of her ancestors, Sir John Kaye, wrote a definitive account of the Indian Mutiny of 1857.
This is a work of fiction which includes a great deal of fact presented in a very undry form.
Quintessentially an Anglo-Indian story read by an American, whose regard to pronunciation and punctuation leaves a great deal to be desired. It seems to be a straight reading with a cursory attempt to use accent and tone to differentiate between the characters. The pronunciation is frankly appalling; the place (probably fictional) where all the main action takes place is Lunjore NOT Lunyo. Obviously the narrator is familiar with American- Latino pronunciation and uses that form rather than the Spanish which is intended. Ms Kaye also in the book wrote footnotes to assist in the correct way to interpret the names and places, i.e Kishan Prasad said Kishan Pra-shad not Kishane Prashade and sahib would be prounounced "sarb" by an Indian, I could carry on but you can get the gist!She also does not seem to take account of the punctuation which makes the narrative sound like it has been read only without being understood and "felt".I have read this book every couple of years for the last 30, it never fails to move me, so I feel, that even I could make a better fist of the performance. Please let me have a go?
No, it is a book that has to be listened to slowly in order not to miss the nuances. I listen mainly in the car or walking the dogs, so have to take my time.
Please, please get an English person to read this book, American English just will not do. The English also have the history with India, the Raj and the East India Company (John Company) anything else will not do!
MM Kaye has written many books, most of which are not worth reading. She has also written two books about India and the Raj: this and The Far Pavilions. These two are unbelievably brilliant.
This book is about the first Indian Mutiny. MM Kaye beautifully describes the savagery and magnificence of India, and, while Eurocentric, still portrays a depth of understanding and love of the country.
The story follows a young woman of Anglo-Spanish heritage, Winter, who, through a strange series of circumstances ,is born and raised until the age of 5 or so in an Indian palace. She is then sent 'Home' to England until she can return to India. She marries a dreadful slob who makes her life a miserable prison. Her love for her country makes her life tolerable, that and her hopeless love of a British administrator of her husband's district.
Alex Randall shares her love of India. He is one of the administrators of 'John Company', the East India Company who administered India before the Mutiny and the annexation of the country by the Crown of Victoria. He has a deep love and understanding of the people of India and is one of the few who recognises the signs of the coming Mutiny. His warnings are ignored and he watches helplessly as the Mutiny sparks and explodes.
The story is beautifully told with loving descriptions and balance. Alex and Winter's love unfolds against this backdrop.
I'm in two minds about the narration. Many of the Indian words are not pronounced correctly but generally the accents are believable. She manages to cover Indian, Queen's English, 'common' English, even Russian accents, well. Overall, a good job. Easy to listen to and engaging.
M M Kaye is a brilliant descriptive writer. She makes you feel like you are there
Winter, she has such an interesting life
Some of it is very sad as it is set during the uprisings against the British Raj in India with very graphic descriptions of mass killings. On the happy side the romance between Winter and Alex Randell is heart-warming
The narrator has problems with the accents and pronunciation of many of the Indian words
This was a wonderful book. I loved every moment of it.
M M Kaye is an extremely talented and evocative writer. I felt I was there living the awful and the wonderful lives that are portrayed. I recommend this highly to anyone - everything all in one novel. I cannot wait to read her other books.
I have loved this story for many years and it was great to be able to have it read to you, the narrator managed to get through the story, though not without mistakes both in accent and dialogue. I winced at her pronunciation of certain words, and her pitiful attempts at some of the accents; overall it sounded like an American too much.
Winter de Ballasteros - engaging, smart, loyal and resourceful.... who couldn't help but admire her
Different narrator who understands how the English accents are used; I hate to be so negative but in this case it is a must.
The start of the mutiny, the Colonel facing his troops and them disobeying him, you could feel his pain and anguish at having lost the respect of his men.
Say something about yourself!
I would definitely recommend this book to a friend but advise them to skip the first 5 chapters which are so tedious it makes you want to give up. The early history is repeated several times over and you get the gist. Girl of European parents orphaned, sent to grandpa in England, age 5. Family dislike her, grandpa a dies, family send her back to India. Pick it up at chapter 6 when she's collected from family country pile, age 17, by dashing, sensible Captain Alex Randall.
Loue Carter. The woman had sense. From a life of indolent privilege she whips off her crinoline hoops, cares for a new born infant which is totally out of her comfort zone and totally against her character looks after the child as she would her own. No this isn't Mills and Boon- it's quite bloodthirsty with graphic descriptions of decapitated heads and brutal goings on.
Anyone but Tara Ochs. Oh she is dreadful reading this book. Her pronunciations were so bad, perhaps a little research on her behalf would have been helpful to the listener. As one whose ancestors spent that period and more in India, I flinched a good deal of time at her pronunciations. She should read renditions by Sam Dastor for guidance. I thought for a long while she was pronouncing Lucknow (my birth place) as Lunio but it turns out she meant Lahore - according to another review. See "additional comments" for my preferred narrator.
It's too long for that and besides Tara Ochs grates on your ears and brain after a while.
My comments all sound negative, I am sorry for that impression. I love the book. It's a great follow on from the Far Pavilions but a different narrator would have made it so much better - perhaps Sneha Mathan. She would have been perfect-beautiful melifluous tones. A total pleasure to listen to. Sorry Tara!
Not if it's narrated by Tara Ochs.
Her narration was awful - not just poor pronunciation of Indian names and words but her English let her down too. Painful listening and ruined the story for me.
A beautiful story spoiled by the wrong narrator.
I love history books as well as good historical fiction (it has to be accurate), and fantasy. I don't like crime novels or biographies.
This was the second time I had read this book, and I would definitely read it again. I love the slow build-up, the huge cast of characters, some of whom you love, and some you hate, the historical facts that helps you understand the bigger picture, and the amazing descriptions of India itself. The book is beautifully written and read.
Almost every scene with Winter and Alex is memorable because of the tension and chemistry between them.
When I first read the book as an impressionable teenager, I was irritated by Winter, but I grew to like and understand her more during this reading of the book. But my favourite character was Alex Randall - principled, decisive, handsome and capable. What more could a woman want?
This book is well-plotted and it moves at a leisurely pace as it very gradually builds up the sense of unease and tension that explodes into the Indian mutiny. Definitely worth a read if you love well-written historical fiction.
enjoyed listening to story of India as good as other book Far Pavilions,
very good at character parts
It made our upper crust in India to be ignorant fools and made you think about our Empire, no wonder we lost it.
This book is a long-time favorite. Even though I've read it multiple times, listening to an audio version makes any book new again.
I was disappointed by her mispronunciation of words (vehemence and desultory are two examples) as well as inconsistent British accents for the same characters. Shame on the director and producer for allowing it too.
"Has always been a great story."
Not necessarily. Have owned a printed copy for nearly 30 years and have always enjoyed reading it, when time permitted. In the last few years I have come to appreciate the portability of audio books, and the luxury to listen while engaged in other tasks not condusive to holding a book.
Vikas Adams who is the narrator of The Far Pavilions. His voice and characterizations were spot on for the story. He brought all of it to life.
Tara Ochs has a good voice for nonfiction, but is far too bland for performing.
If possible redo the narration for this story and get Vikas Adams to it.
"Hated to. have the story end"
Not sure which story was better written - Shadow of the Moon. or Far Pavilion. And the narration was fantaztic.
I felt like I was in India during the Victorian age!
A great epic book. It was fun to watch a character grow up.
"Much too long for the story!"
No. While the storyline was very acceptable and interesting the length of the book was not.
The book 34 hours long, excessively descriptive and the story could have been told in half the time without all the adjectives and introspection.
I am not sure if the story was based on fact, but if so it was well researched and I would read another of her books f it was shorter.
"Superficial Romantic Melodrama"
"Shadow of the Moon" is strictly for fans of melodramatic romance novels. It is not a great story: it is, in fact, completely overwritten by an author who never uses one word when she can use 20, who can't introduce so much as a minor, fleeting character without providing their pointless back stories, who repeats herself over and over. You can skip chapters three at a time without missing a thing. As a book reader, the narrator is O.K., but she she accentuates its flaws by failing to bring it vibrantly to life.
Great narrating excellent story. I highly recommend. I couldn't stop listening even late into the night.
"Amazing story! Disappointing reader."
I grew up reading M.M.Kaye's books, and loved them. I own a bedraggled first-edition copy of Shadow of the Moon, and was looking forward to hearing it as an audiobook.
I have Trade Wind also in book and audiobook form. I own The Far Pavilions in book form also. I am looking at getting that one in audiobook form, but would not consider it if it were read by Tara Ochs.
Alex Randall. He is a man of character and principle.
I am dismayed at the sheer number of mis-pronounced words and place names in the audiobook. If we have access to the internet to hear words we are not sure how to pronounce, it seems that Tara Ochs would also have that access, at the very least!
It depends on whether the movie was made by Americans or Brits.
Please choose your readers on the basis of their ability to read aloud, not on who they are.
"Well worth it"
epic, spell-binding, earthy
all of it
I like this narrator very much. It was wonderful to hear the narrative in American English, and then the characters in British English, and the various Indian accents. Some narrators go overboard, overdo each different character. This narrator lets us know that the speaker has changed, and gives a light accent for each character.
Well worth it. Love the very long, epic novels that allow one to be lost in the experience. I've had a lot of problems with the heavy Brit accent in other books, ie Shogun, and some of the Wilbur Smith works which I had to return because it was just too hard to wade through the poor narration. Hard to tell when one character leaves off, and another begins, with the heavy Brit accent. Great to hear the narrative in Shadow of the Moon in non-Brit English! Still not sure if this will equal the superb Far Pavilions, but few audio books ever have.
"Worth the listen"
Yes- I tend to scan and miss things while reading.
The historical accuracy- the author had access to many first hand accounts- and the well-developed main characters.
Bland. Stilted. Mediocre.
Alex Randall. An honorable man, but one with flaws. He realizes his weaknesses and vulnerabilities. He's strong minded and unafraid to stand up to authority and take matters in his own hands (and at considerable physical danger) to himself when necessary.
The story is fantastic. The narration, not so much, but it's still well worth the listen.
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