Book Reviews of The Sultan's Harem

The Sultan's Harem
The Sultan's Harem
Author: Colin Falconer
ISBN-13: 9781400083121
ISBN-10: 1400083125
Publication Date: 5/24/2005
Pages: 480
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 10

3.4 stars, based on 10 ratings
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

8 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Sultan's Harem on + 129 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is really the story of three women. Gülbehar, the sultan's favored concubine and mother of his son, the next in line for the throne, Julia, a kidnapped Italian noblewoman who finds herself in the sultan's harem and soon in mortal danger, and finally Hürrem, a ruthless, red-headed Russian who hoodwinks and deceives the sultan to turn him away from Gulbehar and over to her side.

Insanely jealous, deceptive, cunning, and irresistibly beautiful Hurrem soon has no trouble convincing the sultan to break numerous traditions on her behalf and schemes to make her son the next sultan. As Hurrem's victims mount and the sultan's power grows fainter and fainter it soon becomes apparent that Hurrem is in over her head and has made more enemies than friends.

In all honesty, I couldn't get through this book all the way. It really peeved me because I was more than halfway through it too. I picked up this book thinking it would be incredibly sexy and romantic. It was nothing like that. Basically it boiled down to a court battle set in the Middle East.

Soon there were too many characters to keep track of. I never knew who knew what, who was planning what and how some of the characters were interrelated. I got the connection of Hurrem to Gulbehar, but to me Julia was a complete mystery. Her existence did not further the plot at all and this irked me as Julia was one of the few characters I felt had any depth or warmth to her.

"The Sultan's Harem" wasn't awful, it was full of intrigue, color, and historical references that made the general story seem decently real. On the flip side, the novel lacked true excitement, understandable plots, and relatable characters. The reading was slow going and frustrating. Towards the end my patience waned and finally left me completely. I can see why some would like or even love this book...I just wasn't one of them.
reviewed The Sultan's Harem on + 4 more book reviews
I have never read anything by this author before, but I saw this book listed here and it sounded interesting. I was NOT disapponted.
I look foward to reading more by this author.
reviewed The Sultan's Harem on + 25 more book reviews
This story is full of intrigue, women fighting against each other to gain attention for themselves, men competing for power and money. The majority of the book was very interesting, the author was perfectly descriptive but the last quarter of the book dragged on unnecessarily and became predictable.
reviewed The Sultan's Harem on + 5 more book reviews
I loved this book and didn't want it to end. It had a story I kept wanting to find out more about and characters I believed. I definitely want to read more by this author.
reviewed The Sultan's Harem on + 107 more book reviews
A novel of cruelty and passion set in the great Harem of the Ottoman empire. A glimpse into a world of intrigue, sensuality, and violence, where an empire can be controlled not by the might of its ruler, but by the women hidden behind the Harem walls.
reviewed The Sultan's Harem on + 644 more book reviews
There is hardly any character developement just unjustifiable plot twists and turns, more twists and turns, and more twists and turns still... in short, classic soap opera. The plot makes little sense: Why does Hürrem hate the sultan so much? What motivates her? Didnt Hürrem wanted to leave the hareem? The writer doesnt even explain, how Hürrem could have possily slept with Imbrahim in such a controled (no men allowed, spies everyvhere, death punishement for lost virtue) envioroment. The intrigue was distracting and didnt make much sense. It was nothing but page filler. One would almost thing the author was paid per word, which would then explain the "leading-nowhere-plots" and twists. I like good intrigue but to everything there must be moderation, I just couldnt finish this mindless soap opera with one dimensional un-endeering characters, no devalopement and disapearing story line.
reviewed The Sultan's Harem on + 3389 more book reviews
About this title: Falconer breathes life into a world of intrigue, sensuality, and violence, where an empire--the Ottoman Empire--can be controlled not by the great sultan, but by the women hidden behind his harem walls.
reviewed The Sultan's Harem on + 644 more book reviews
There is hardly any character developement just unjustifiable plot twists and turns, more twists and turns, and more twists and turns still... in short, classic soap opera. The plot makes little sense: Why does Hürrem hate the sultan so much? What motivates her? Didnt Hürrem wanted to leave the hareem? The writer doesnt even explain, how Hürrem could have possily slept with Imbrahim in such a controled (no men allowed, spies everyvhere, death punishement for lost virtue) envioroment. The intrigue was distracting and didnt make much sense. It was nothing but page filler. One would almost thing the author was paid per word, which would then explain the "leading-nowhere-plots" and twists. I like good intrigue but to everything there must be moderation, I just couldnt finish this mindless soap opera with one dimensional un-endeering characters, no devalopement and disapearing story line.