The book is a thrilling tale of the interactions of characters recognizable for their loyalty, duplicity, and passion and will appeal to a wide audience. The author has included enough accurate details to make regular readers of historical fiction hapy, too. Highly recommended for all libraries.
[John] Shors’s spirited debut novel [Beneath a Marble Sky] tells the story of the eldest daughter of the 17th-century emperor who built the Taj Mahal.… With infectious enthusiasm and just enough careful attention to detail, Shors gives a real sense of the times, bringing the world of imperial Hindustan and its royal inhabitants to vivid life.
The author has obviously done in-depth research of the Taj Mahal and its history. In addition to his fascinating storyline, he weaves in many details about the planning and building of this unique architectural masterpiece. From the exquisite white marble brought in from the quarries of Makrana to the gold and precious gemstones decorating it, Shors enables his readers to visualize the profound wonder of it all. He also depicts the political climate in a clear and concise manner so that readers can better understand the Mogul empire that reigned supreme during this period of India's history. I can highly recommend this novel, a real page-turner throughout.
--Historical Novels Review
There is scarcely a false note in this book and an enjoyable sense of time and place in the occasional description of how people live, what they eat and of what their lives and aspirations consist.... This exciting novel is...recommended to all readers who enjoy historical fiction or who have a particular interest in the Indian subcontinent.
Beneath a Marble Sky is a story which literally speaks to you. In his first novel, John Shors brilliantly recounts one of the world's greatest love stories, narrated against a backdrop of hatred and violence.
--The India Post