The Aviary Gate: A Novel

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9781596914759: The Aviary Gate: A Novel

A lush, ancient tale of treacherous secrets, forbidden love, and murder in an Ottoman palace.
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 the 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?
Spellbinding and steeped in mystery and sexual intrigue, The Aviary Gate transports readers to exotic sixteenth-century Constantinople, offering the rarest glimpse into the forbidden confines of the sultan's harem.

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About the Author:

Katie Hickman is the bestselling author of five previous books, including Daughters of Britannia and Courtesans. She lives with her family in London.

Review:

“Combining elements of The Tempest with gothic intrigue and charged, poignant romance, this is a sensuously involving novel. Teasing, erotic, suspenseful and expertly done.” ―Daily Mail (UK)

“This cleverly written escapist novel looks set to turn Hickman into the next Philippa Gregory.” ―Evening Standard (UK)

“A magical, engrossing read that takes us inside a sixteenth-century harem--and into a world populated by scheming, exotic characters. This absorbing novel of intrigue and forbidden love manages to be both cerebral and entertaining. With all the intricate detail of historical non-fiction and all the pace of romantic drama, this is beautifully written stuff.” ―Glamour (UK)

“Dear reader, lie back on your ottoman and relax. Katie Hickman will take you to a magical land, the Topkapi harem in Istanbul in 1599. The intricate courts, alleys and secret staircases of the Topkapi are enticingly described and contribute to a plot full of headlong twists and turns. Luscious...exquisite...a box of Turkish delight. Enjoy!” ―The Independent (UK)

“Gorgeously vivid.” ―Marie Claire (UK)

“Forbidden love, sailors and secrets--fasten your seat belts for Hickman's period tome. Think Jane Austen meets Pirates of the Caribbean.” ―In Style (UK)

“Remarkably convincing...[an] entertaining mystery whose plot twists can be as Byzantine as the setting. Hickman brings alive the sights, sounds and smells of Constantinople. Hickman has given us a Turkish delight of a novel that should win her legions of fans.” ―Tatler (UK)

“The author has done some very thorough research...her style is light and clear and there are gems of descriptions. The books is dreamy and rose-scented, and reading it is like spending a delightful couple of hours in the company of one of the Sultan's favourites.” ―Literary Review (UK)

“This entrancing novel married a plot so thrilling you'll miss your station stop. Insatiably gripping.” ―Easy Living (UK)

The Aviary Gate is a hugely enjoyable novel, multi-layered, vividly depicted and a fascinating story, filled with the colors, sights and scents of Constantinople in the 16th century. This story is at the same time fast moving, complex and deeply satisfying.” ―Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat

The Aviary Gate reminds us of the fact that Katie Hickman is first and foremost a vibrant story-teller who writes mainly because of the pure joy of weaving stories, be they historical or as in this case fictional accounts. And for that, I am very grateful to her.” ―Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

“Constantinople 1599 conjures images of exotic displays of wealth and beauty, deadly intrigue, power struggles and politics. The Aviary Gate delivers on all these, and adds a cast of fascinating diverse characters, a great story line and an unexpected but entirely satisfying end. A glorious feast for the imagination, very convincingly delivered.” ―Nicola, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

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