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The Sultan's Harem

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,314 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
From the author of the critically acclaimed When We Were Gods comes a dramatic, unforgettable novel of cruelty and passion set in the great Harem of the Ottoman empire.

In Constantinople there is only one ruler: Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, Lord of Lords of this World, Possessor of Men’s Necks, Allah’s Deputy, absolute ruler of the mighty Ottoman Empire. And at the hear
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published July 13th 2004 by Crown (first published 1992)
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peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستان گرامی بهتره این کتاب رو به چشم یک رمان و داستانِ خاله زنکی، بخونید... نه به چشمِ کتاب تاریخی

فقط خواسته عثمانیان کثافت و بی اصل و ریشه رو بزرگ جلوه بده... داستانی سرشار از دروغ و مغلطه های تاریخی...عثمانی و تورک هایی که به سختی پدرانِ خود رو تشخیص میدادن... به قول فردوسی بزرگ که چه زیبا توووورک هارو وصف میکنه
ابا سرخ ترکی،بدی ،گربه چشم
توگفتی دل از رده دارد به خشم
که آن ترک بد ریشه و ریمن است
که هم بد نژاد است و هم بد تن است
تن ترک بد ذات بی جان کنم
زخونش دل سنگ مرجان کنم
از آن پس بپرسید،ازآن
Jan 29, 2008 Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
God help me in my sorrow. That phrase was oft repeated in this book, and it pretty much sums up my feelings for it.

Two main issues:

1) The history of Roxelana is wack in the book (in the book she's supposed to be a Tartar chieftain's daughter. In reality, she was the daughter of a Ukrainian Orthodox priest). And she is portrayed as a bitter, scheming, bitch of a woman. Really? History does not show that at all.

2) None of the characters have any redeeming qualities. None. The author clearly hated
Ana Mardoll
Mar 31, 2011 Ana Mardoll rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Sultan's Harem / 1-4000-8312-5

"The Sultan's Harem" is a spectacular tale of hatred and revenge, as Falconer weaves the tale of a single woman - a slave of the most powerful man in the world - who tears down a powerful empire by careful manipulation of the man who loves her. This one woman, Hurrem, manages to take down an entire empire, all while only ever being seen by a handful of men - the sultan and his personal eunuchs.

Falconer makes it difficult not to admire our cold-blooded heroine, who
Sep 16, 2012 Adi_Toha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suntinganku
Sultan Sulaiman I, khalifah ke-10 Kekhalifahan Turki Utsmani, berkuasa sejak 1520 hingga 1566. Orang Barat mengenalnya sebagai Sulaiman yang Luar Biasa (Suleyman the Magnificent) karena kekuasan dan pengaruhnya terhadap peta perpolitikan, perekonomian dan militer di Eropa pada abad keenam belas. Di kalangan muslim, ia berjuluk Sulaiman al-Qanuni, karena pencapaiannya dalam menyusun kembali sistem undang-undang Utsmani. Sulaiman adalah salah satu pemimpin tersukses dalam sejarah Islam. Ia memimpi ...more
Ivana Azap
Oct 06, 2014 Ivana Azap rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
High recommendations :D My special moment in the book is the mention of the military squad "Azap" - like mylast name!!! And of course, one new aspect of the story - what if Hürrem did not loved Süleyman? What if she hated him because he turned her into the slave? What if hers final revenge was the destruction of the all mighty Ottoman dynasty? I know that lot of readers did not liked this kind of view, but I say "why not?" Could you love a man that enslaved you completely? If before that you kne ...more
Shannon Donnelly
There are really two stories that are mixed here, and I found the transition from one to the other difficult to make. Initially it seemed as if another book was started in the middle of the one book that most interested me. The Venice story didn't hold my interest as well as the story set inside the Harem -- that story had complex characters, with very complex motivations and intrigue. I wish that story had taken more of the book -- there would have been room then for a more satisfying ending (t ...more
Jan 01, 2015 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suleiman I, aka Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566) was the leader of the Ottoman Empire at the apex of its glory and achievement. The ten sultans before him built the foundation for the empire, including the conquest of Constantinople; Suleiman expanded upon their conquests, made the Mediterranean a Turkish lake, and crafted a set of laws intended to ensure the peaceful succession of sultans and the permanence of the empire.

This book is a fictionalized account of Suleiman's reign, beginning wi
I'm still trying to decide how I feel about this one. While it was entertaining at times, I thought the characters were a little much. Mostly Sultan Suleyman just annoyed me (what a sissy!) and Hurrem was WAY over the top. I just find it hard to believe that Hurrem could have gotten away with everything she did. And I felt a little sorry for her, she was a terrible person...but the fact that she gained so much power, so quickly, eh....

And I found some of the story line completely unbelievable, b
Feb 24, 2013 Martha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: punya
Waktu baca sinopsisnya sekilas aku pikir ini ttg Sulaiman yang 'itu', sang nabi Sulaiman dlm Islam atau Raja Solomo dlm Alkitab. Tapi bukan, ini bukan Sulaiman itu. Novel ini berlatar abad ke-16, berabad-abad setelahnya, meskipun tokoh Sulaiman di novel ini juga seorang raja - Sultan Sulaiman, Sang Penguasa Dunia, Raja segala Raja.

Baguskah buku ini? Nah, awalnya aku suka, aku memang selalu suka cerita ttg kehidupan di balik istana, apalagi kalau sudah mengisahkan intrik2 para perempuannya. Dulu,
Sep 14, 2009 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is really the story of three women. Gülbehar, the sultan's favored concubine and mother of his son, the next in line for the throne, Julia, a kidnapped Italian noblewoman who finds herself in the sultan's harem and soon in mortal danger, and finally Hürrem, a ruthless, red-headed Russian who hoodwinks and deceives the sultan to turn him away from Gulbehar and over to her side.

Insanely jealous, deceptive, cunning, and irresistibly beautiful Hurrem soon has no trouble convincing the sultan to
Ahmad Sharabiani
Aug 15, 2014 Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, fiction
عنوان: سلطانه؛ اثر: کالین فاکنر؛ ترجمه: جواد سیداشرف؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، زرین: نگارستان کتاب؛ 1376، در 700 ص، شابک: 9644071034، چاپ هفتم: 1385، موضوع: سلیمان اول، سلطان عثمانی 900 تا 974 برابر با 1496 تا 1566 میلادی، ترکیه، تاریخ، داستان

در قرن شانزدهم هنگامی که امپراطوری عثمانی در اوج قدرت است و سلطان سلیمان خان قانونی بر سه قاره و هفت اقلیم حکمرانی میکند. در پشت درهای بسته و دیوارهای بلند «توپقاپو سرای» 300 کنیز در بزرگترین حرمسرای امپراتوری جدا از دنیای بیرون روزگار میگذرانند. .............. ه
Aug 18, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As you already know, I am a fan of novels set around the Ottoman empire. It was such a different time with a culture so different from our own that I find it absolutely fascinating. This book shows two sides of the Ottoman empire: one within the world of the Harem and one without. It seems to beg the question: Is the life one lives better in the Harem (especially as a woman) under the scrutiny of the Sultan, or outside, where one is "free" but living under the scrutiny of the Sultan's minions? A ...more
Dorina Danila
O carte pe care sa o citesti daca nu ai altceva mai bun de facut. Cred ca ma asteptam la altceva.
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
Σε μια εποχή όπου τα τούρκικα σίριαλ έχουν κατακλύσει την τηλεόραση, είπα να διαβάσω κι ένα βιβλίο ανάλογης θεματολογίας, αφού δεν πρόκειται ποτέ ν' ακολουθήσω το συγκεκριμένο τηλεοπτικό ρεύμα από άποψη, χωρίς αυτό να σημαίνει πως κρίνω -πόσο μάλλον, κατακρίνω- εκείνους που τους αρέσει. Τέλος πάντων, το βιβλίο το οποίο επέλεξα να διαβάσω είναι ένα από τα πιο γνωστά ιστορικά βιβλία του είδους του και δεν είναι άλλο από "Το χαρέμι", το οποίο μας συστήνει τον Σουλεϊμάν τον Μεγαλοπρεπή, αλλά και τις ...more
Susan Sheibani
از نظر تاریخی که هیچ نظری ندارم..چون حتی خود نویسنده هم اولش مینویسه که نمیدونیم واقعیت چی بوده.ولی به عنوان رمان جالب بود.اینکه همه ی شحصیت های قدرتمند داستان تو رنج وعذاب بودن و هیچی بهشون آرامش نمیداد جالب بود.خرم فوق العاده شخصیت قدرتمند ولی کثیفی داشت .و ما صرفا براساس اطلاعاتی ازمحیط خارج دریافت میکنیم فکر میکنیم و تصمیم میگریم وگرنه حقیقت پوشیده میمونه.
Sharon Buchbinder
What if you were sold into slavery or abducted, put into chains, and dragged to another country to serve in a palace? Would you comply and accept your fate, broken-spirited, and demeaned by your captors? Or would you learn the art of court intrigue and play the long game, one that involves seduction, lies, and an ultimate betrayal? This story poses the intriguing question of how a slave girl rose from obscurity to becoming the queen of one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world. Was she luck ...more
Apr 08, 2013 Marie80 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ми се допадна, всушност се' што е поврзано со историјата, па дури и ако е историска фикција ме воодушевува!Сакам да запловам во минатото и да уживам во приказните!Ја препорачувам од се' срце.
Jan 22, 2016 Yuli rated it it was ok
ugh no thanks, this book was just a panorama of bad vibes. Some parts were interesting but for the most part it was frustrating. The sultan was maybe the most irritating one of all, he was supposedly sick and tired of war but he just couldn't stop killing, he was so progressive in building his empire but wasn't smart enough to give people a trial before executing them based on rumors. I mean, it would have taken one cross examibation to find out that his vizier was making shit up about Mustapha. ...more
José Francisco Dávila
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 11, 2015 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was extremely enjoyable. I really liked the way Colin Falconer described the Palaces and Harems in such great detail. The opulence of each was unbelievable but the reader could certainly imagine what it would have been like to live at that time as long as you were wealthy. Who knows how the ordinary citizen fared.

Suleiman, the one they called the Magnificent the Turkish Sultan did have a favourite in his harem but a new slave girl called Hurrem daughter of a Tatar was determined to tak
Carrie Slager
Feb 10, 2014 Carrie Slager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-bought
This is more the tale of three very different women than the tale of Suleiman, but the thought is definitely there. We hear not only from him, but from the three women the story focuses on: Hürrem, Gülbehar and Julia.

First off we get the story of Hürrem’s rise to power within the harem. Since Suleiman truly loved Gülbehar, she used every trick in the book to steal him away from his favourite. Like so many stories that take place in the harem, the ladies in here are not necessarily sympathetic, b
Dec 08, 2011 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fascinating tale from the talented pen of Colin Falconer brings you inside the Harem of the sultan we now know as Suleiman the Great. The harem was a place barred to men, except for the sultan - he had his choice of all the women there and they saw his choosing them as their way out. But Suleiman was different; he did not follow the ways of his forefathers. He stayed faithful to one woman at a time. This is the tale of his second kadin - or wife.

I have long been a fan of Mr. Falconer's work
Jul 29, 2012 Lareesa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were parts of this novel that were hard to get through, but in its entirety, I loved it. I am a sucker for anything to do with Turkey and Istanbul after living there, and I love exploring history I've studied through fiction.

Falconer obviously took many, many, many artistic liberties with his novel, but I found his portrayal of the atmosphere and characters a great strength. I could really picture the ancient city with its tiny alleys and mish-mash of diversity, as well as the magnificence
Apr 15, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, free from Amazon, was quick and easy to read. The mechanics of good writing were good. There were a few editing errors, but none slowed my reading. I had trouble rating this book because I wanted it to have more about Suleiman and the Ottoman Empire than it did. But, by the book's title, the author promised to write about the women in Suleiman's life. Suleiman married wife one and had a fine son with her. His second wife was a she-devil who hoodwinked Suleiman and killed anyone she pe ...more
Ana Mardoll
Feb 21, 2011 Ana Mardoll rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Sultan's Harem / 1-4000-8312-5

"The Sultan's Harem" is a spectacular tale of hatred and revenge, as Falconer weaves the tale of a single woman - a slave of the most powerful man in the world - who tears down a powerful empire by careful manipulation of the man who loves her. This one woman, Hurrem, manages to take down an entire empire, all while only ever being seen by a handful of men - the sultan and his personal eunuchs.

Falconer makes it difficult not to admire our cold-blooded heroine, who
Apr 03, 2015 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction set in the Ottoman Empire, focusing on machinations within the Sultan's harem as one slave-girl schemes and manipulates her way to the top in order to gain power and get revenge against the empire that enslaved her, whatever the cost. In her way are the Sultan's mild-mannered, long-established favourite concubine and a new addition to the harem, a frightened Venetian girl who was enslaved at sea after trying to elope. An interesting exploration of the time and place; not too f ...more
Feb 09, 2016 Nina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a pretty decent whiff of history around this one. I won't say that I think that the events portrayed are necessarily accurate - more that the book manages to give a decent impression of what court life might have been like at the time and place. The characters are interesting enough to keep you engaged and considering the title and subject matter, there is a refreshing minimum of gratuitous smut.
Paul Burnette
Nov 28, 2015 Paul Burnette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite writers! And if you like intrigue, this is your book. If you like complex competitions where there are more than two sides playing, then this is a book for you. If you enjoy dynamic descriptions, this is for you. If you enjoy a master schemer and manipulator, then Hurrem is your girl! If you like the idea of taking revenge for the evil acts of others, then you will enjoy this book. Abbas, Julia, Ludovici, Suleiman, Selim, Mustapha, all, are well-developed characters, all with ...more
Dec 26, 2012 Vera rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kitabı okumak istiyorsanız yazarın hayal gücüne dayandığını bilmelisiniz adı üstünde "masal". Kitap bir kurgu romanı ve gerçekle alakası olduğunu düşünmüyorum hatta en azından küçücük bir gerçeklik payı vardır deseniz de okumayın çünkü gerçekten yok. Zaten yazarın yabancı olması da bize bir nevi bunu kanıtlıyor. Kitapta abartmalar var ayrıca Hürrem ile alakalı olmayan çok farklı bir hikayeyi de kitabın içine yerleştirmeyi çalışmışlar, olmamış. Acaba aralarında bir bağ var mı diye okumaya devam e ...more
Zoya Dimitrova
The story of the book is not bad, a lot of intrigues and women’s “wars”. But for me the true value was in the description of all that Muslim traditions and rituals typical for that time. Especially the ones related to the harem. I could get an idea of how the life in the sultan’s harem was. I didn’t like the end, I expected more.
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“I was 18 years old, I’d just left school and got a job in London, working in an insurance company. I was working inside - in an office! My mother thought that was like being CEO of Shell Oil.

“I was late one morning, I took a short cut through the church yard to the station to catch my train. I’d just finished reading The Sun Also Rises the night before; and here I was looking at all these gravest
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