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The Break of Dawn (A thrilling page-turner set amidst the 1857 rebellion)

The Break of Dawn (A thrilling page-turner set amidst the 1857 rebellion)

Khan Mahboob Tarzi
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“Unconstrained, unlike a historian, the fiction writer Khan Mahboob Tarzi invents a moment in the history of 1857 and imbues it with high romance and action.”-Rita Kothari, translator, writer, and professor of English, Ashoka University

“[The 1857] rebellion has been the subject of scholarly attention and debate, but the events have not drawn too much literary attention in terms of novels, plays, etc. It is thus good to read this novel and to have it in translation.”-Rudrangshu Mukherjee, chancellor and professor of history, Ashoka University

-A thriller and romance set amidst the raging battle to free India of the British in 1857.

-Brings into focus the lesser-known popular literature in Urdu around the 1857 mutiny.


-The translator, Prof. Ali Khan Mahmudabad, was led to the book out of personal interest, as it includes an account of the erstwhile Mahmudabad royal family’s role in the 1857 revolt.


-Introduces readers to Khan Mahboob Tarzi, a prolific author who wrote over a hundred novels on history, politics, science-fiction, romance and erotica.

It is the searing month of June. The rebellion against the British has just begun and Awadh is up in flames. Hindus and Muslims have joined hands to overthrow the foreign rulers and set India free. Some Indian rulers have started to enter into alliances to fight the firangis, while others have thrown in their lot with the foreigners. Amid all this, Riyaz Khan, a young soldier from the army of the Raja of Mahmudabad, saves a group of Britishers from fellow ‘mutineers’ and escorts them to the safety of Lucknow. In this group is Alice, who falls in love with Riyaz and eventually becomes an informer for the rebels.

The Break of Dawn, originally published in Urdu under the title Aghaaz-e-Sahar, is a thrilling page-turner and a reminder of a time when Indians of all classes and creeds came together to fight for the honour and freedom of their homeland.

Imprint: Vintage Books

Published: Apr/2021

ISBN: 9780670093618

Length : 272 Pages

MRP : ₹399.00

The Break of Dawn (A thrilling page-turner set amidst the 1857 rebellion)

Khan Mahboob Tarzi

“Unconstrained, unlike a historian, the fiction writer Khan Mahboob Tarzi invents a moment in the history of 1857 and imbues it with high romance and action.”-Rita Kothari, translator, writer, and professor of English, Ashoka University

“[The 1857] rebellion has been the subject of scholarly attention and debate, but the events have not drawn too much literary attention in terms of novels, plays, etc. It is thus good to read this novel and to have it in translation.”-Rudrangshu Mukherjee, chancellor and professor of history, Ashoka University

-A thriller and romance set amidst the raging battle to free India of the British in 1857.

-Brings into focus the lesser-known popular literature in Urdu around the 1857 mutiny.


-The translator, Prof. Ali Khan Mahmudabad, was led to the book out of personal interest, as it includes an account of the erstwhile Mahmudabad royal family’s role in the 1857 revolt.


-Introduces readers to Khan Mahboob Tarzi, a prolific author who wrote over a hundred novels on history, politics, science-fiction, romance and erotica.

It is the searing month of June. The rebellion against the British has just begun and Awadh is up in flames. Hindus and Muslims have joined hands to overthrow the foreign rulers and set India free. Some Indian rulers have started to enter into alliances to fight the firangis, while others have thrown in their lot with the foreigners. Amid all this, Riyaz Khan, a young soldier from the army of the Raja of Mahmudabad, saves a group of Britishers from fellow ‘mutineers’ and escorts them to the safety of Lucknow. In this group is Alice, who falls in love with Riyaz and eventually becomes an informer for the rebels.

The Break of Dawn, originally published in Urdu under the title Aghaaz-e-Sahar, is a thrilling page-turner and a reminder of a time when Indians of all classes and creeds came together to fight for the honour and freedom of their homeland.

Select Preferred Format

Khan Mahboob Tarzi

Khan Mahboob Tarzi (d. 1960) was a novelist and writer from Lucknow. Educated in Aligarh, Tarzi had a number of interests and careers. He was briefly a supervisor in a locksmith factory, did a stint in the army, tried his hand at film-making and directing at Kardar Studios in Calcutta, followed his interest in translating and journalism, and was also involved in in theatre and radio. In the latter part of his life, he lived in Lucknow and worked at the Naseem Book Depot. Writing stories and novels remained his passion throughout his life, and he wrote more than 100 novels on history, politics, society, science fiction and romance.