Having read this book I realize that I am not sophisticated, educated or intellectual enough to understand all of the things Mr. Rushdie is saying. He romps through history and religion with rapid grace. There’s magic and myth, stories interwoven and curving back on each other. It’s an entertaining book but not for the faint of heart. Also pretty much x-rated for sexual content and profanity. It takes place during the time of Machiavelli, in Florence but also in the Moghul empire where Akbar the Great is worried about the fate of his empire when it becomes time to hand over the reins to his sons. A foreigner, tall and golden-haired arrives at his court claiming kinship. Maybe this is the answer to his apprehensions about his sons’ suitability for the reins of power of a great kingdom, a kingdom he fights constantly to protect. A princess who chose to go with the conqueror back to Florence rather than to her own home and the protection of her brother was erased from the family history until the stranger begins his tale. It turns out there really was such a princess and the stranger’s story corroborates Akbar’s mother’s memory of the Lady Black Eyes who vanished so long ago.