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Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas

Publisher: Harper Perennial 
ISBN: 006201210X
Pages:320 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb

Summary from publisher:

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.

My Review: 

I have had a copy of this book on my shelf for a while. I have hedged a bit on reading it because my TBR dominates my life. This one was much much better than I thought it was going to be.

I liked Eleonora quite a bit. She was a brilliant child—maybe a little too brilliant. She was a prodigy. I shouldn’t let her intelligence define her because I thought she was an utterly charming character. She was so easy to like and identify with. She was one of the reasons I stuck with the book after a particularly slow start.

I did not start with this book well. I have o admit that I kind of muddled and stumbled through the beginning.  It wasn’t until the middle of the book that I completely fell in love with it. I was thinking about DNFing this one but I am so happy that I stuck with it. The writing was excellent, the characters were engaging and, though the beginning was a bit slow going for me, the story was well-paced and interesting. I did have a slight issue with the ending but it really wasn’t enough to detract from my enjoyment.


*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.


  1. It's always nice when a book that starts out a little rough turns out to be a gem.

  2. I'm glad that the story ended up drawing you in! Thanks for being a part of the tour.



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