'People associate us former royals with the usual things: images of grandeur of pomp and splendour, of crowns and coronations . . . They conclude, generally, that to be royalty even former royalty is an enviable thing. Well.' Peeling back the layers of myth and innuendo surrounding erstwhile royalty in India, the stories in Blue Blood explore the lives of individuals who, bereft of power and wealth, must now live as commoners, grappling with the banalities of modern life. The title story, narrated by an elderly tour guide, unravels the truth behind the tragic fate of Anne Beckford, a European woman who married an Indian maharaja for love. In 'The Birthday', a disinherited gay prince risks disapproval when he returns to his ancestral home for the centennial celebrations of his great-grandfather, a war hero ravaged by Alzheimer's disease. 'The Last King of Portugal', set on the island of Diu, describes the mysterious death of Eduardo Braganza, an Indian-born descendant of the Portuguese royal family. And 'The Search' follows a young woman from Toronto as she embarks on an international quest to find a family heirloom, only to discover a long-kept secret. With intricate plots and nuanced characters, these eight tales skilfully capture the personal triumphs and tragedies of former royals as they navigate the space between past glory and the reality of the present.
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Uttara Chauhan grew up in Saskatchewan, Canada, and was educated in Canada and India. She has lived and worked in India as a planning consultant and freelance writer. Currently, she works as a policy analyst for the Government of Canada. Her first novel, A Model House, was published in 2003. She lives in Ottawa.
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