I first read this book when it came out in 2003. The copy in the library was nice and fresh and just waiting to be cracked open. I fell in love from the first page. Over the years, I still had beautiful images from the book playing in my head. When asked to recommend a book this was usually my top pick. It is now 7 years later and thanks in part to a historical fiction challenge I decided to re-read this book. The same copy from 2003 has now passed many hands. I can tell the book has been loved by the many stamps on the due list and stains. I felt nostalgic while re-reading this book and reliving my first experience. The second reading was just as good as the first. The book pretty much as it all- Indian culture, beautiful descriptions, court politics, romance, etc. Oh and who can beat a harem full of beautiful, strong women?