I was very entertained by the wonderful descriptions of Constantinople in general and the insides of the various palaces of the Sultan in particular. The desperate moods and indolent lifestyles of the harem women is also compellingly presented. I found no problem with the historical settings and main events.
Characters are well drawn and multi-faceted, from the loathsome, conniving and cruel Hurrem, and Suleiman the Great, shown here as a weak, petulant and pathetic figure, that stretches the imagination somewhat given his significaant actual lifetime acheivements. These two are nicely counter-balanced by the Sultan's mother, the Valide, who's loyalty and nobility are certainly a breath of fresh air in the Topkapi palace. The noble-hearted Abbas is also an inspirational yet luckless figure. I was less impressed by the simpering, fearful, heroine Julia and hope she finds some much needed courage in the sequel. Be that as it may, one does become very satisfactorily interested and involved in the outcome of each and every one.
The book is essentially dedicated to the main individuals' trials, tribulations and in many cases, sufferings but I did feel the absence of a significant, major, overall plot was a disappointment. The Ottoman Empire sort of goes on as a side-show to the juicy palace internal intrigues.
Disappointed by a number of mis-spellings that really should have been proof-read out at whatever level of publishing this book went through. What do you mean "She was weary nothing"?
Will certainly give The Seraglio a spin.