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The Sultan's Harem

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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  999 ratings  ·  92 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 Magni?cent, Lord of Lords of this World, Possessor of Men’s Necks, Allah’s Deputy, absolute ruler of the mighty Ottoman Empire. And at the heart
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Hardcover, 464 pages
Published July 13th 2004 by Crown (first published 1992)
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Ann
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
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Adi_Toha
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
Maggie
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
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Martha
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,
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Julie
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
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Ana Mardoll
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
...more
Ivana Azap
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
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
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Kate
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
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
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
Marie80
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.
José Francisco Dávila
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carrie Slager
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
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Patty
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
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Lareesa
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
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Linda
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
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
...more
Vera
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.
Andreea Pausan
Hurrem is a big-hit Turkish series on TV these days. I was nice to read the story form another perspective and to learn about one of the greatest Tuks sultans, Suleyman, whom all Europe feared. His love for his red-head slave was his doom as Hurrem, single-handedly, managed to destroy an empire.

Such power of times past...a great love-hate story.
Honey Jimenez
The elegant descriptive prose of this story takes me into a bygone era of the middle east. Intrigue and revenge that can take days or years, even decades to execute. With the help of many, who hate to betray anyone, but are hurt and have the opportunity to seek revenge on those who wronged them so long ago. They take the cards they are dealt in order to stay alive. The story moves slow and sometimes even tedious. But the fascination with the historic world the author presents is so enthralling I ...more
Kjirstin
Very interesting! This is a time period & part of the world that I've done very little reading about, and it was thus intriguingly foreign to enter the world of the harem, and compelling to read about it. I will probably be looking for other titles to continue exploring this time and place. (Though sadly it appears that the follow-on book, Seraglio, isn't yet available in ebook format. I guess I'll have to wait until it's converted to figure out what else will happen to the people inhabiting ...more
Maggie
Enjoyed this book, good escapist reading although it does revolve around real historical figures. The author had clearly done his historical homework which added depth. The story deals with the Sultan Suleyman the magnificent, his involvement with two of his harem women, and the battles to extend and maintain his enormous kingdom. Numerous characters are woven in and around the tale, which culminates in an interesting but believable ending. My main criticism of the book is the lack of a glossary ...more
Anja
Don't like the way the author "told the story", I am little bit of a fan of Hurrem, and don't like the way the author described her made her look like a witch with crafts and hokus pokus that's boogus.
Beth
I love historical fiction so I was excited to read something about a region that I haven't read much about.

This book takes place in the 1500's when Suleyman, the Magnificent is Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The books real subject is the "politics" of the Sultan's Harem and what a woman will do to stay in the Sultan's favor to gain power. There are few characters to love in this book as many our on a path to destruction.

Overall I enjoyed this book, it was a quick read, a page turner. It was defin
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Cora Ramos
Through an easy writing style we enter the harem of Suleiman and glimpse the lives of some of the women taken from all over the Ottoman Empire. Mr. Falconer enables us to imagine the intimate details of their everyday existence. We follow the machinations and intrigues that ensued during their survival (or not) of the life they were forced into.

From a love story gone awry in Venice, Italy, Julia ends up in the harem in the midst of Hurrem’s attempt to overthrow Gulbehar as chief wife and secure
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Tulsi
I really did enjoy this, as I didn't really know anything about this time period. Middle Eastern history is intriguing, particularly the ties to the moors in Italy, which I found particularly intriguing. I found the main female character very complex, and yes, at times evil, but she was living in a world where you had to be tough and ruthless to get ahead. Sometimes, reading about women like this in history, I wonder what they would be achieving is they lived today, if their ambition and intelli ...more
Aylin Youlin
Определено е една от любимите ми книги.Всички събития в книгата будеха любопитството ми.Накрая вече ми доскуча,но тогава ме вълнуваха други неща от личен план и предполагам е заради това. Препоръчвам книгата на всеки,който обича исторически романи.
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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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