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 Suleyman and its harem of 300 beautiful women. Suleyman favors Gabehar, who has borne him a son, but Harrem, 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), Harrem 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 Harrem's. As Harrem becomes bolder, Suleyman 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.

Author

Colin Falconer

Pseudonym Of

Colin Bowles

Colin Bowles was born in North London. He moved to Australia in the seventies and worked in advertising. He started writing when his wife was two months pregnant and they had just arrived in Sydney from Perth with nowhere to live. He says it helped focus his mind. He worked as a freelance journalist contributing articles to many magazines, newspapers and periodicals including The Australian, Playboy, Cosmopolitan, The Bulletin, Qantas Airways magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, GH, and She. Columnist for magazines including Gourmet Traveller and Ansett Inflight Magazine. He also wrote for radio and television, while working on his first novel, which was eventually five years in the making. For the last fifteen years he has been a full time novelist, writing as Colin Falconer, with his work published widely in Europe, the UK and the USA, and translated into sixteen languages. He travels regularly to research his novels and in the last two years has completed promotional tours for translations of his novels in Mexico, Turkey, and Romania.

Country of Origin
Country of Origin

Books:

Series:

Series: Madeleine Fox

Book Number:
2
2000
Book Number:
1
1999
Review Review - DISAPPEARED, Anthony Quinn
Karen Chisholm
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
ISBN
1400083125
Year of Publication
Genre

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