I received an ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Amie O'Brien.
Wow. I have to say that when I opened my kindle and saw how many pages this book was, I was a little concerned it would be a book that dragged on without purpose, that could have been more concise. Boy, was I proven dead wrong. This book was meticulously and perfectly paced. There was never a dull moment, or a moment when I just wanted the book to be over. In fact, I wanted the book to NOT end.
It is abundantly clear that this book was painstakingly researched and verified. The accuracy and abundance of the historic facts does not go unnoticed. Despite it being set in the mid to late 19th century, this book feels worlds away. I think that has to do with how under-represented the Ottoman culture of that era is. I cannot fathom why though, the whole idea of a harem, and sultans truly is intriguing and exotic. It is like a breath of fresh air in a genre full of typicality. The writing itself is exquisite, and tasteful. It is formal, yet has this flowing, natural air to it.
The author allowed us to accept this foreign reality, and I use the word accept loosely here, by how likable and relatable her characters are. In fact, Leila has very Western views, and she mirrors so perfectly what the reader is also questioning and feeling.
I really cannot wait until the release of book II.