Study Guide

Beneath a Marble Sky Chapter 13

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Chapter 13


  • There is a huge celebration at the Taj Mahal because the builders have finished "dressing" one of the four minarets with white marble, which is no easy feat.
  • Jahanara returns to the Red Fort to cuddle Arjumand, but just before she gets to her rooms, she hears a strange noise from Aurangzeb's chambers.
  • Jahanara carefully enters his room to discover Aurangzeb and his young wife being held hostage by an angry cobra—someone has tried to assassinate her terrible bro.
  • Jahanara is totally torn about what to do: let the cobra kill the dude who's been threatening her life and the future of Hindustan for years, or save him for the sake of karma and her conscience?
  • Jahanara decides that she would be no better than Aurangzeb if she were to let the cobra kill her brother, so she heroically picks up his sword and kills the snake.
  • Geez, Aurangzeb can't even thank Jahanara for saving his life. He accuses her of being the would-be assassin.
  • When Jahanara convinces Aurangzeb it wasn't her, he begrudgingly says that he owes her—but she needs to promise to join his side when he tries to seize the throne.
  • Jahanara refuses, so once again she's in danger from an irate brother. But at least now she knows he's really, really scared of snakes.
  • Jahanara also knows that now there's no going back: she should have let the cobra do its job.

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