- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2 Feb. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747596441
- ISBN-13: 978-0747596448
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 388,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Aviary Gate Paperback – 2 Feb 2009
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'A hugely enjoyable novel, multi-layered, vividly depicted and a fascinating story, filled with the colours, sights and scents of Constantinople in the sixteenth century ... fast moving, complex and deeply satisfying' Joanne Harris 'Forbidden love, sailors and secrets - fasten your seat belts for Hickman's period tome ... Think Jane Austen meets Pirates of the Caribbean' In Style 'A magical, engrossing read that takes us inside a 16th 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' Glamour 'Lie back on your ottoman and relax. Katie Hickman will take you to a magical land, the Topkapi harem in Istanbul in Istanbul in 1599...There are luscious descriptions of costumes, of silk robes and mother-of-pearl twinsets, of ropes of jewels...this is a box of Turkish delight' Independent --Independent
Elizabeth Stavely sits in the Bodleian Library, her hands trembling as she holds a fragment of parchment, the key to a story untold for four hundred years Constantinople 1599: the English merchant Paul Pindar must deliver an extraordinary gift to the Sultan. Grieving for his lost love, drowned in a shipwreck, he hears rumours of a new golden-haired slave in the Sultan's harem. Could this be his Celia?See all Product description
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That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it, because I did. Hickman has clearly done her research because the tale is well-written and richly described, and unlike other reviewers, I thought it portrayed the claustrophobia & creepiness of the Sultan's harem very well. I thought that the story of Celia Lamprey (the heroine set in the 16th century) worked very well. What I felt the story lacked was a plausible modern day heroine. For me, she was quite two dimensional, lacking depth and indeed likeability. The manner in which her romantic feelings were described did not seem real to me. If her part had been more engaging, I would have rated this book as a four star read.
Well worth reading nonetheless.
Ben Kane, author of Hannibal: Enemy of Rome.
As a one-time PhD student I was amazed that Elizabeth was supposedly able to take off on what seemed like a wild-goose chase to Turkey in her quest for evidence of her theory about the fate of the English girl and that while there got an e-mail form her supervisor that she had been elevated from being an MPhil to a DPhil candidate. It doesn't happen like that!
I was deeply disappointed. It started well but I found the characters insubstantial, perhaps because they were numerous and the ending was inconclusive and disappointing.
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