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Alex Rutherford Books In Order

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Publication Order of Ballantyne Chronicles Books

Fortune's Soldier (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fortune's Heir (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Empire of the Moghul Books

Raiders from the North (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brothers at War/A Kingdom Divided (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ruler of the World (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tainted Throne (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Serpent's Tooth (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Traitors in the Shadows (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

The name Alex Rutherford is what appears as the writer of the six-book historical fiction series Empire of the Moghul, but there is actually no such person. In actuality, the name Alex Rutherford is just a pen name for two writers: Diana Preston and her husband Michael Preston. The two writers started with doing serious non-fiction and this series was their first attempt at writing historical fiction.

Diana and Michael Preston both studied at Oxford where they studied History and English. That background helps to inform this series as a strong background in studying history is key to what they are trying to do in Empire of the Moghul.

They wrote the serious non-fiction books early in their career and since this series was the first attempt at historical fiction, they decided to use a pen name to create a distinction between this and their non-fiction work, history and fiction. They decide to take the name Alex because it would work either a male or female, and they went with the last name Rutherford after the Nobel Laureate Ernest Rutherford.

The two have always had a love to travel and they have visited more than 140 countries in their travels. Their greatest place to travel and their absolute favorite is India. The great country has always been a fascination and it was their research into the building of the Taj Mahal that lead to their studying and exploration of the Mughal Empire who built the great building.

When these two get into a subject, they go deep. They gpt the chronicles of the Mugahl period and read each of them in order in order to gain a greater understanding of the period and the found of the Mughal dynasty to use in their series. They even took things one step further and decided to retrace the steps of the Mughal. They started in the Ferghana Valley in Kyrgyzstan – home to the boy-king Babur who was the first Moghul emperor. They then took their research to Iran and to the blue domes of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. From there they went across the deserts to the Oxus River and over to the Kabul and Afghanistan. The epic trip then took them through the Kyber Pass and into the plains of northern India. It was a powerful trip and it really adds a ton of weight to the series telling of the rise and fall of the Moghul Empire over the 200 year period.

They have a unique writing process in that they do a ton of research beforehand like mentioned above. They read everything they can get their hands on about the subject in order to get a full grasp on the events, atmosphere, personalities, and more about the world and the characters. The two writers then break down the story in almost a film like manner. They break the story into multiple scenes and then they divide those scenes for each of them to write. The two then come back together after they are done and read what the other has written and work on it to make it better. It is a very analytical approach and it works well for this writing duo.

A lot of people wonder how much the Empire of Moghul series is based in reality. The main characters, main places and main events that happen are all based on facts and historical documents. However, in order to create a better story they will often fuse several people together to create one character or invent new characters to tell a better story. They do their best to stay true, but they employ this technique and will also condense or omit events for narrative reasons.

The epic story of the Empire of Moghul starts off with Raiders from the North which is the first book in the series. This book sees the might Moghuls burst out of Central Asia and head to India in the sixteenth century. The book starts in 1494 when the ruler of Freghana dies in an accident and his only son, Babur, takes the throne. Babur comes to be known as the boy-king as he is very young at this time, but he is determined to live up to the example that the great Tamburlaine set. His legendary ancestor, Tamburlaine, was known throughout the world for his legendary conquests and Babur hopes to do the same.

However, before Babur can summon the required warlords to declare himmself king, there are plots against his crown and his life. Betrayal is very possible, but Babur keeps the wise advisors and fierce warriors by his side and maintains his plans to found an empire in India. Every step of the way will be dangerous, but Babur is destined for this.

The next book in the Empire of Moghul series is called Brothers at War. This book starts in 1530 in Agra, North India and introduces us to Humayun who is the new crowned Moghul Emperor. He is the son of Babur and he has been left with a great empire filled with wealth. The empire now spans a thousand miles south of the Khyber Pass and he knows that the Moghuls work is not done. He knows that he must expand on his father’s work and build his own legacy to make the Moghuls worthy of his great ancestor, Tamburlaine.

Before he can get to work, it becomes apparent that there are plots among his half brothers to get rid of him. They don’t think that he has the strength or the brutality needed to command the Moghul armies and expand the empire. They don’t think he has what it takes to continue their father’s work and they may be right, but Hayuman will not give up so easily. He enters into a wild battle for his crown and his life with the empire itself standing in the balance. This one has a really wild pace as not only does it have the battle of the brothers, but also takes the story to the court of the Kizal-Bashi Shia king of Persia Shah Tahmasp.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Alex Rutherford

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