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Publisher's Summary

Elizabeth Staveley sits in the Bodleian library, holding in her trembling hands a fragment of ancient paper. It is the key to a story that has been locked away for four centuries - the story of a British sea captain's daughter held captive in a sultan's harem.Constantinople, 1599. There are rumors and strange stirrings in the sultan's palace. The chief black eunuch has been poisoned by a taste of a beautiful ship made of spun sugar. The sultan's mother faces threats to her power from her son's favorite concubine. And a secret rebellion is rising within the palace's most private quarters.Meanwhile, the merchant Paul Pindar, secretary to the English ambassador, brings a precious gift to the sultan. As he nears the palace, word comes to Pindar that the woman he once loved, Celia, may be alive and hidden among the ranks of slaves in the sultan's harem. Can this really be the same Celia who disappeared in a shipwreck? And if it is, can the two be reunited?
©2008 Katie Hickman; (P)2008 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Languorous and filled with vivid, dreamlike images." (Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Shaunda on 09-05-16

Disappointing ending?

The descriptive writing and history were very elaborate and wonderful. I had such high hopes for the story, however it ended somewhat vaguely, with no real closure. You are left guessing what really happened but not quite sure if you were right or wrong or what. In short, the story started out so great but fizzled out at the end.

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1 out of 5 stars
By Nicole on 12-02-10


Well not horrible. But pretty bad. The characters background stories were engrossing by themselves, but the actual plots (there are two that have nothing to do with each other) were really truly horrible. Disappointing because I read the hard versions of daughters of brittania and courtisian (sp) and I LOVED them. Made me want to be a better person love. Too bad

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