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book cover of The Sultan\'s Harem

The Sultan's Harem

A novel by

From Publishers Weekly
Lengthy, involved and meandering, this epic soap opera by veteran historical novelist Falconer (Feathered Serpent, etc.) is set in the court of the 16th-century Turkish sultan Süleyman and its harem of 300 beautiful women. Süleyman favors Gülbehar, who has borne him a son, but Hürrem, a ruthless red-haired Russian, schemes to be next in line, seducing the sultan with her wiles: thus begins an epic catfight. For nearly four decades (1522–1559), Hürrem conspires mercilessly against her enemies, employing lies, blackmail and poison. One of her victims is Julia, a captive Venetian girl, whose own unlikely story (she once loved the man who is now the eunuch in charge of the harem) plays out in counterpoint to Hürrem's. As Hürrem becomes bolder, Süleyman falls under her malevolent spell, until his ability to rule is questioned. Although filled with meticulous detail about the customs and role of the harem, the book pays little attention to the greater historical events of the era. Loaded with court and harem intrigue, it is short on action and long on bedroom conspiracies, which lose their juicy appeal long before the drawn-out conclusion.
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Used availability for Colin Falconer's The Sultan's Harem

Hardback Editions

July 2004 : USA Hardback

Title: The Sultan's Harem
Author(s): Colin Falconer
ISBN: 0-609-61030-9 / 978-0-609-61030-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Crown
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

May 2005 : USA Paperback

Title: The Sultan's Harem
Author(s): Colin Falconer
ISBN: 1-4000-8312-5 / 978-1-4000-8312-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA