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Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury
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Empire of Lies (edition 2019)

by Raymond Khoury (Author)

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17210162,071 (3.84)1
"Istanbul, 1683: Mehmed IV, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, is preparing to lay siege to Vienna, capital of the Holy Roman Empire, when a mysterious visitor arrives in his bedroom-naked, covered in strange tattoos-to deliver a dangerous, world-changing message. Paris, 2017: Ottoman flags have been flying over the great city for three hundred years, ever since its fall-along with all of Europe-to the empire's all-conquering army. Notre Dame has been renamed the Fatih Mosque. Public spaces are segregated by gender. And Kamal Arslan Agha, a feted officer in the sultan's secret police, is starting to question his orders. Rumors of an impending war with the Christian Republic of America, attacks by violent extremists, and economic collapse have heightened surveillance and arrests across the empire. Tasked with surveying potential threats, Kamal has a heavy caseload-and conscience. When a mysterious stranger-naked, covered in strange tattoos-appears on the banks of the Seine, Kamal is called in to investigate. But what he discovers is a secret buried in the empire's past, a secret the Sultan will do anything to silence"--Provided by publisher.… (more)
Member:ih8libs
Title:Empire of Lies
Authors:Raymond Khoury (Author)
Info:Macmillan Audio (2019)
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Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury

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English (9)  French (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
For some reason I deferred reading this book as I had reservations about the alternative history. Don't ask me why. I am a Science Fiction fan and I like Raymond Khoury as an author. Well needless to say I stepped in and read it. To be blunt, I should have read it the first time I picked it up. If nothing else this is a different prospective of the world than I ever thought of, yet it is as relevant as today's headlines.

In my opinion the story is so complex and nuanced that it is difficult to give a synopsis that would even start to reflect the complex journey Raymond Khoury takes us on through time, space, history and political philosophy. We open in Paris in a world that might have been; the Muslim armies of Ottoman Empire won a devastating victory against the Christian forces at Vienna and swept over Europe except for England. The United States exists as a fanatical isolationist Christian dictatorship and Russia exists on the periphery of the Ottoman Empire. The Empire still is ruled by the whims of the Sultan. Personal freedom exists to an extent but is closely monitored, defined and supervised by the Empire. From the time we are introduce into that world it is an exploratory journey into what would the world be today should one of history's critical junctures had gone the other way. Why did the Vienna fall this time? Why was there no growth nor any progression or maturity in the Imperial government over the centuries? Why were the people still solely ruled through the inconsistent whims of the Sultan? And who was the mysterious man that seemed to exist throughout the Empires existence? And did there appear to be an understanding of history that was just occurring? Throughout the story all of these come into play and lead us on a journey back to the origin and basis that made the difference at the battle of Vienna. The future becomes the past and the past is never what it seems to be.

I really enjoyed this book. The story was very unique and except for one detail totally probably. The writing was very good, the historical references were credible and accurate, the characters became increasing real as the story evolved and the quest to understand what was happening and had happened. All that lead to the world we were dropped into as the story opened.

Anyone who enjoys a great adventure with twists and turns that takes one through the centuries should put this book on their must read list. ( )
  can44okie | Aug 28, 2020 |
I just found it too hard to read, the worldbuilding reflected 20th Century issues rather than being a growth from the period the author had chosen to change the world from the Christian majority to the Islam majority. I just didn't care if the characters all died so I decided to leave it behind me and move on to another book
  wyvernfriend | Feb 25, 2020 |
A fantastical tale of time travel involving manipulation of history - primarily of the Ottoman Empire and Europe. Fast paced an mildly entertaining - but extremely far fetched. The author obviously did a greAt deal of historical research that added to the story. I would have rather he refrained from the pontificating that took place in the final stages of the book. ( )
  labdaddy4 | Feb 23, 2020 |
I actually really enjoyed this story, perhaps because it is very different from anything else I have read anytime in recent memory. In the same vein as stories like Man the High Castle, author Raymond Khoury gives us the thought provoking question, what if history were changed? What would the future be like? In this story, medieval Europe is conquered by the Ottoman Turks, and present day France is now part of an enormous Turkish empire. Islam has become the dominant religion, and the inhabitants now adhere the the strict rules of Shar’ia. No one is the wiser to history being written another way. When a mysterious man covered in strange tattoos shows up needing heart surgery at the main hospital, red flags start cropping up. While in a drug induced haze, the mysterious man spins an improbable tale of being a time traveler, who claims to have rewritten the past. Events quickly spin out of control when Nisreen, a human rights lawyer, and her brother in law Kamal Agha learn of the secret through Nisreen’s husband, who is serving as chief anesthesiologist to the mystery, tattooed man. Living under an oppressive regime, where government sponsored public executions are commonplace, Nisreen wonders if the alternative, unaltered future is better for everyone than the one they are living in. Armored with the secret incantation, Kamal and Nisreen embark on an epic journey into the past to rewrite the future. Filled with epic adventure, hope and tragedy, there is perhaps no journey more epic than changing the past to rewrite the future we know. A unique story that should have widespread appeal. Look forward to hearing more from this author in the future. Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy. ( )
  hana321 | Nov 15, 2019 |
Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury is not one of my usual favorite fiction genres but it captivated from the first sentence. This is a thriller dealing with alternate history and time-travel. In 1683, the Ottoman Empire is fighting for the capture of Vienna and, in time, the rest of Europe. The novel also begins in Paris 2017 where the Empire has been ruling for three-hundred years. Kamal works for the special police force and his function is to uncover dissidents and traitors. His sister-in-law, Nisreen, a civil rights lawyer, works for the families of people taken prisoner for unproven crimes. Together, the two will attempt to make a difference in their society. This is a must-read book if you like fast-paced thrillers.. It spans four hundred years of history. It will astound you and invite you to ask “what if”. Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  carole888fort | Nov 11, 2019 |
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"Istanbul, 1683: Mehmed IV, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, is preparing to lay siege to Vienna, capital of the Holy Roman Empire, when a mysterious visitor arrives in his bedroom-naked, covered in strange tattoos-to deliver a dangerous, world-changing message. Paris, 2017: Ottoman flags have been flying over the great city for three hundred years, ever since its fall-along with all of Europe-to the empire's all-conquering army. Notre Dame has been renamed the Fatih Mosque. Public spaces are segregated by gender. And Kamal Arslan Agha, a feted officer in the sultan's secret police, is starting to question his orders. Rumors of an impending war with the Christian Republic of America, attacks by violent extremists, and economic collapse have heightened surveillance and arrests across the empire. Tasked with surveying potential threats, Kamal has a heavy caseload-and conscience. When a mysterious stranger-naked, covered in strange tattoos-appears on the banks of the Seine, Kamal is called in to investigate. But what he discovers is a secret buried in the empire's past, a secret the Sultan will do anything to silence"--Provided by publisher.

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