Title: The Oracle of Stamboul
Author: Michael David Lukas
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Paperback: 320 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Ushered into the world by a mysterious pair of Tartar midwives late in the summer of 1877 in the town of Constanta on the Black Sea, Eleonora Cohen proves herself an extraordinarily gifted child—a prodigy—at a very young age. When she is eight years old, she stows away aboard a ship, following her carpet merchant father, Yakob, to the teeming and colorful imperial capital of Stamboul where a new life awaits her.
In the narrow streets of this city at the crossroads of the world, intrigue and gossip are currency, and people are not always what they seem. But it is only when she charms the eccentric Sultan Abdulhamid II—beleaguered by friend and foe as his unwieldy realm crumbles—that Eleonora will change the course of an empire.
Exotic, mystical, and engrossing, The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas takes the reader back to the last days of the Ottoman Empire and deep into Sultan Abdulhamid’s court. Purple and white hoopoes usher in the birth of Eleonora Cohen whose birth and life was foretold. Raised by her father and Aunt, young Eleonora is quite precocious and instead of being without her father she travels to Stamboul as a stowaway to be with him. Eleonora’s gifts are soon recognized by the Sultan, who invites her to court, relies on her knowledge and soon becomes interested in far more than her political acumen. Lukas has created a beautifully exotic debut novel that will take the reader back in time to the seat of the Ottoman Empire. Through vivid imagery and detail the reader will have little doubt they are in Turkey. The sights, sounds, and smells are so richly described it made me yearn to travel. Lukas has created a marvelous ensemble of characters and Eleonora is absolutely endearing, delightful, and mysterious. The Oracle of Stamboul was utterly fascinating in its exotic nature and mystical premise, and stunningly lyrical prose. Lukas has created a stunning debut novel and definitely is an emerging author to be watched. I highly recommend The Oracle of Stamboul to both readers and book discussion groups.
To learn more about Michael David Lukas please visit his website: www.michaeldavidlukas.com
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I received a complimentary copy of The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.