Odalisque: Book One of The Percheron Saga

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9780060899110: Odalisque: Book One of The Percheron Saga

Once a captive of merciless desert slave traders, Lazar fought his way to freedom—and to an exalted role as Spur of Percheron, guardian of his adopted city, and confidant and protector of the Zar, Joreb. But now the Zar is dead and his fifteen-year-old heir, Boaz, must assume the mantle of leadership—guided by trusted advisor Lazar, the "mad" dwarf jester Pez . . . and Boaz's cruel, ambitious mother, who truly holds the reins of power.

In the midst of roiling court intrigue, a young girl arrives to fill a space in Boaz's harem—and inflames unexpectedly strong feelings in both Boaz and Lazar. But the odalisque, Ana, will not be satisfied by the closeted, stifling world of the harem. And, unbeknownst to all, the gods themselves are rising up in cyclical battle—as the struggle begins within and beyond the palace walls for the imperiled soul of Percheron.

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About the Author:

Fiona McIntosh was raised in the U.K. but left London to explore the world and found herself in Australia, where she fell in love with the country and one person in particular. She has since roamed the planet for her work in the travel industry but now writes full-time and continues to draw inspiration from her travels. McIntosh lives with her husband and teenage sons, splitting her time between city life in South Australia and the wilderness of Tasmania.

From Publishers Weekly:

A magnificent setting distinguishes this first of a new fantasy trilogy from McIntosh (The Quickening), who imbues the city-state of Percheron with many attributes of Constantinople under the Ottoman Turks. Joreb, the zar (or ruler) of Percheron, is well served by his military leader, the handsome Lazar, who fought his way to freedom from slavery. When Joreb dies an untimely death, Boaz—Joreb's 15-year-old son by his beautiful, intelligent and ambitious first wife—becomes zar. But not even Lazar or Pez, a dwarf jester whom nearly everyone thinks is mad, can shield young Boaz from the cruel necessities of ruling Percheron. (McIntosh, who doesn't stint on depicting the brutality of slaughter, includes a disturbing castration scene.) Meanwhile, gods and goddesses feud, a new odalisque joins the harem, and a neighboring kingdom threatens invasion. While the author leaves the culture's religious aspects undeveloped, strong characters and an enticing plot bode well for future installments. (Mar.)
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