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The Thief's Tale (The Ottoman Cycle Book 1) by [Turney, S.J.A.]
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The Thief's Tale (The Ottoman Cycle Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Length: 258 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2033 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Victrix Books; 1st edition (24 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BL4ETTW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,854 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Simon Turney has produced another gripping story, This time about Istanbul in 1480. The story about two boys one forced to become a janissary the other absconds to become a thief really grabs the imagination,
The eventual plot that they become embroiled in carries one along at a fast pace and gives the reader a sense of the great changes that took place in the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century
Like Turney's other series Marius Mules, he gives a great slant to the period. A Well Recommended Read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read a lot of historical fiction and because of my interest in ancient Greece and Rome most of my reading is from those genres. So it was with some trepidation that I ventured out of my interest zone and picked up SJA Turney's The Thief's Tale, a tale that takes place in 15th century Istanbul. This trepidation was tempered by the fact that I have read other books by Mr. Turney; most notably the Marius Mules series, and was confident that he could write an excellent story no matter the historical time frame involved.

The story is a fictional account of a power struggle between two brothers vying for control of The Ottoman Empire and how another pair of brothers, one of them a Muslim Janissary, the other a Christian(at least nominally) street thief who find themselves irrevocably involved in a plot to assassinate the current ruling brother. The characters, both main and ancillary, are meticulously crafted as the author has done his research on not only the time period but also of Constantinople/Istanbul. The story flows seamlessly to its exciting climax which ironically involves a true historical fact; a lightning strike that hit Istanbul in 1491.

One of the major story lines reflects one of our foremost contemporary problems, the religious or ethnic intolerance between Muslim, Christian and Jew. Istanbul in 1491 could easily be Teheran or Jerusalem in 2013. The thief often finds himself dwelling on the paradox of three religions that worship the same God and yet are continually at each other's throats competing for supremacy. The author, while offering no insight or solution to this worldwide threatening issue does inject the story with enough ironic situations that made me once again ask the question, why?

As with any good story that has sequels in mind, The Thief's Tale leaves the reader turning the last page and hoping that the sequel has already been written. The Thief's Tale is well worth leaving your genre comfort zone.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a well written,thriller set in fifteenth century Istanbul.The story moves at a cracking pace and the editing is faultless; no intrusive grammatical lapses. There is considerable reliance on coincidence as a plot device but this does not detract much from this novel's entertainment value.The characters are interesting and well depicted.
The book works well as entertainment and that is the main criterion, in my view, by which to judge it. I do not have the historical knowledge to decide about its period accuracy but it seemed credible. It passed one acid test;though, I bought the next book in the series
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent mini series read back to back are there to be more. I for one find the authors style of writing easy on the eye and a very interesting story crossing the two main religions and showing good and evil on both sides a well balanced series of books I for one will seek out more from this author and wish him luck and hope he produces many more enjoyable 'historical fiction' accounts.
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By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Review

This latest title from the fantastic SJA Turney felt like a bit of a double edged sword to begin with. I don't read very many books set in
that part of history, there is just to much religion for my liking. That part of history and its events mainly controlled by the church or religion. But I'm starting to change that opinion, finally some writers are making it different. Jack Hight, Simon Scarrow
and now SJA Turney.

The Thief's Tale follows the trials and tribulations of two Greek brothers, brothers caught up in the compulsory conscription of the Ottoman Janissary's. Their lives take a dramatic divergent difference on entering the great city of Istanbul/ Constantinople. Skiouros the youngest, vanishing into the underbelly of the city to become live by his wits and speed. His brother Lykaion conditioned into one of the deadly Janissary's that helped make the Ottoman Empire one of the biggest the world had seen.
The 2 brothers find themselves through a singular incident caught up in the power play for the empire and their lives are soon under threat. Can they run fast enough? should they run, where do they go? what do they do?

Simon Turney once again weaves a fantastic fast paced well researched atmospheric tale that sucks the reader back in time into the mix of the dirty streets and dangerous politics. His skill is always in educating whilst entertaining and this book does it in spades.
I'm very much impatient for book 2 and shall be haranguing him to get it written (once he finishes Marius Mules 5. If you have not read that series you have 4 amazing books awaiting you.)

Highly Recommended.

(Parm... Yes as in Capt Parmenio... read the book you will see. and it still makes me smile now writing this review)

full author Q&A on my blog
parmenionbooks(DOT)wordpress(DOT)com/2013/01/26/sja-turney-the-thiefs-tale-review-and-qa/
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is almost a case study of how an author is allowed to create his own rules within his own work, as long as they are consistent (unless, of course, he builds inconsistency in as a rule). The book is built on a couple of real historical events and around historical buildings of Istanbul, but the main plot and the main characters are all fictional. Also, so consistently built that a reader can assume the events might as well have taken place. And with this, Simon might give future historians a headache, as once a book that does that reaches classical status it becomes much better at entering the collective memory than a scholastic work. It doesn't even matter that the author himself puts a disclaimer at the end.

And Skiouros, our hero, is likable enough. He's innocent and mostly open and honest about his intentions, while it's also got plenty of flaws that make it easy for the reader to feel a connection: he's a thief, lowlife, without any ambitions or goals. He's a drifter, basically, though a drifter no older than 24, though likely quite a bit younger than that. And Skiouros story will take him throughout the city of Istanbul where he's spent the last eight years of his life and where, in the space of a week in 1490, the circumstances will take him in close proximity of some of the most powerful men of the day and will transform his life forever. Skiourous' story is fascinating enough, but the way Simon creates situations and twists makes this book a proper thriller, with twists and new developments coming in fast and thick, guaranteed to lose the reader some sleep.

And because Simon is not tied to a real historical narrative, we are completely in the dark, never knowing what's going to happen next.
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