Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
I promised to let the Forumites know what I thought about the book and gave myself a weekend. Well, I overestimated myself.....
The more I read it, the more I understand how complex it is. I thought ( naively, as I found after an hour of reading) that I knew enough about the topic just to brush on my enjoyment of Indian arms. But in fact I got stumped at the very beginning.
Jens knows so much that the book is far too short to explain every nuance he takes as a given.
This is not a book for a novice. There are so many hints, insights and hidden nuggets of knowledge that a thorough understanding of the material requires years of immersion into the topic, in addition to careful reading, re-assessment of other items, consulting other sources and just sober acceptance of the fact that the author knows infinitely more than the reader like myself can imagine. How does he attribute and date the weapons? How does he know the meaning of decorations? How does he differentiate between Rajput and Mughal tulwars, not even talking about Deccani ones? The short descriptions give just hints, but I have to study a lot to figure it out....
This is not a book to be casually read and enjoyed for the pictures. It ain't no coffee table album. This book needs to be studied, and studied hard.
It is not a good book. It is a great book: it forces you to learn more.
My hat is off to Jens.