Friday, February 11, 2011
The Oracle Of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas
When she is eight, she and her father travel to Stamboul where he plans to sell his glorious carpets. Before they can return a tragedy occurs and she is left in the care of her father's friend. While there, she reads and studies, and word of her abilities leak out. She is summoned to the residence of the Sultan, who asks her opinion of a puzzling foreign incident. When her advice proves to be the best way out of the dilemma, a firestorm is unleashed.
The Sultan is entranced with this child. Castle politics run high, with his Grand Vizier and his mother, usually bitter enemies, united in their determination to separate him from this child, whom they see as an intruder. The papers get wind of the storm and blow it into a typical media occasion, suggesting that the Sultan no longer has his own will but is captured and at the mercy of a child. Eleonora is buffeted between the various factions that surround her and must now determine the solution to the most important puzzle of all--how to live her life going forward.
Readers are in for a marvelous treat with this book. It is the genre I love most, historical fiction with a touch of magic realism. Lukas states that some of his literary influences include Salmon Rushdie, Jose Saramago and Gunther Grass, all authors whose books I devour. Lukas is a welcome addition to this genre. This book is recommended to all readers; it's gentle tone countered by the mounting intrigue throughout the book is a wonder.