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The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David…
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The Oracle of Stamboul

by Michael David Lukas

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3454847,699 (3.62)21

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» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
The Oracle of Stamboul, the story of a polyglot little girl whom the Turkish sultan asks for advice, is heavy on atmosphere, setting, and birds... but light on character development and plot. If you're looking for a light costume drama of a book to make you crave Turkish coffee, look no further. I think the strongest aspect of the book is the portrayal of the girl's love for reading. (And a cameo appearance of Eugene Onegin.)

(There's more on my blog here.) ( )
  LizoksBooks | Dec 15, 2018 |
I would give it 3.5 if I could. ( )
  LMJenkins | Nov 28, 2018 |
A light and easy read with some interesting, if underdeveloped characters. Eleanor's age (8) was a tad unbelievable, even for a 'savant', but the place was evoked magnificently, at a time in history when there was much change, giving the possibility than anything might happen. ( )
  celerydog | May 13, 2018 |
Won ARC from Firstreads.

The flow of this book worked wonderfully. It moved well and was hard to put down. I had a lot of trouble remembering that Eleonora was supposed to be an 8 year old girl. Every once in a while someone mentioned her age and I always had a moment of "Oh Yeah...". By her behavior, thought process, etc. I had at least doubled her age in my head. I was also a little bit sad at the ending. It felt abrupt to me. The epilogue helped a little bit with this, but I felt like it just ended. Overall, the language was wonderful and made it easy to read. I will definitely read this book again and will be looking forward to reading more books by this author.
  sochri | Nov 21, 2017 |
The word that comes first to mind about this book is "fresh." It is a beautiful tale about a young girl and her unusual circumstances in the world, filled with powerful thoughts and clear emotions. It was not necessarily deep - but that is okay. There were hints of intrigue and hints of mysterious sub-plots that were not attended to. But these alternate stories would have muddled the story and detracted from it's cleanness. It has been a while since I read something with absolutely zero sexual innuendo or undertones and not even any romance for that matter. It was really refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael David Lukasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Marno, MozhanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Ah, Stamboul! Of all the names that can enchant me, this one remains the most magical." - Pierre Loti
Dedication
To my siblings - Adam and Anna, Coleman and Allison - for reminding me what matters; and to Haley, for everything.
First words
Eleonora Cohen came into this world on a Thursday, late in the summer of 1877.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Late in the summer of 1877, as the Russian cavalry descends on the defenseless Ottoman outpost of Constanta, a flock of purple and white hoopoes suddenly appears over the town, and Eleonara Cohen is ushered into the world just minutes before her birth. "They had read the signs, they said: a sea of horses, a conference of birds, the North star in alignment with the moon. It was a prophecy that their last king had given on his deathbed." But joy is mixed with tragedy, for Eleonara's mother dies soon after the birth. Raised by her doating father, Yakob, a carpet merchant, and her stern, resentful stepmother, Ruxandra, Eleonara spends her early years daydreaming and doing housework-until the moemnt she teaches herself to read, and her father recognizes that she is an extraordinarily gifted child, a prodigy. When Yakob sets off by boat for Stamboul on business, eight-year-old Eleonara, unable to bear the seperation, stows away in one of his trunks. On the shores of the Bosporus, in the house of her father's business partner Moncef Bey, a new life awaits. Books, backgammon, beautiful dresses and shoes, markets swarming with color and life-the imperial capital over-flows with elegance, and mystery. For in the narrow streets of Stamboul- a city at the crossroads of the world-intrigue and gossip are currency, and people are not always what they seem. Eleonara's tutor, an American minister and educator, may be a spy. The kindly though elusive Moncef Bey has a past history of secret societies and political maneuverings. And what to make of the eccentric, charming Sultan Abdulhamid II himself, beleaguered by friend and foe alike as his unwieldly, multiethnic empire crumbles. (ARC)
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It is 1877, when a heartbreaking tragedy leaves Eleanora Cohen marooned in Istanbul during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. But young Eleonora, clever and engaging beyond her years, soon catches the attention of the Sultan's court.

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