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The Janissary Tree (Yashim the Eunuch #1)

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  3,855 Ratings  ·  629 Reviews
Diterjemahkan ke dalam 31 Bahasa

Sebuah novel detektif populer yang unik dan menarik berlatar kota Istanbul, Turki, pada abad kesembilan belas, di seputar harem Sultan Mahmut II.

Pada mulanya adalah pembunuhan terhadap seorang selir Sultan dan raibnya empat prajurit Garda Baru.

Cerita kemudian mengalir seiring penyelidikan seorang kasim (lelaki yang dikebiri) bernama Yashim y
Paperback, 480 pages
Published 2008 by Serambi (first published 2006)
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William Asher I got a free account from Hoopla from my local library. I was able to get the audiobook of all from this series that way.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tea Jovanović
Još jedna knjiga koja me je osvojila na prečac i koju sam progutala u jednom dahu... i to davne 2006. pre pojave (i popularnosti) turskih serija kod nas... :) Dobar krimić s primesama istorijskog i egzotike... :)
May 12, 2016 Jokoloyo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I cannot enjoy this Historical Mystery Novel.

The mystery part has not much mystery to solve, I believe readers could guess it easily before the protagonist reveal the culprit. No need to reveal more. It is one of the easiest mystery that I've ever read.

For setting and background, at first I have high hope with eunuch detective and his unusual friends. But then, the details of the characters are not convincing. At read status update, I wrote I found 2 flaws in details. Well, I don't remember wha
Apr 13, 2008 DROPPING OUT rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one.
Truth is, I did not finish it. I found the characters too much like from a comic-book (not even a graphic novel), and it, well, plodded.

It actually won an Edgar - which is why I checked it out the library in the first place.

But the real kicker is the author sincerely dislikes Constantinople/Istanbul, the scene of the crime. Why do I say this? Well, they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In my case, I studied Ottoman history in grad school and found it fascinating. The book says inside
Feb 04, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes, the same thing that makes a writer a brilliant historian prevents him from becoming something much more humble, say, a writer of mysteries. Jason Goodwin, whose book The Lord of the Horizons was a wonderful short history of the Ottoman Empire, tripped up a bit when he wrote his The Janissary Tree. The hero of the book is an investigator who also happens to be a eunuch. In the approaching twilight years of the Empire, Yashim tries to understand a plot to bring down the Sultanate on the ...more
S. E.
Jan 03, 2016 S. E. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shit
This book is very, very encouraging for prospective authors of historical fiction: By all means, go ahead and write a book and don't bother to make any research: there are enough idiots out there (including myself) with plenty of time and money to spend recklessly on a boring story and facts that don't simply match. This is a waste!

- Many of the names are made-up; Yashim, Preen, Palmuk! What the heck? These names are not Turkish at all!
- The story transpires in 1836; there are visionary characte
Jan 06, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs, detective novel fans
Recommended to Amy by: Dave
Oh, the lure of the exotic. And what could be more exotic to a Californian on a rainy winter weekend than a mystery set in the crumbling Ottoman empire of the 1830s with a eunuch investigator, intrigues among harem concubines, Janissaries, and the ambassadors of France, Russia, Poland, and England, among many others?
I picked this book up on a whim after reading about it on my friend Dave's blog (, and, despite intending to read and work on many other things, found myself with m
Mar 01, 2008 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This historical murder mystery reminds me of Caleb Carr's writing except Goodwin doesn't have Carr's flair for suspense nor can he generate the excitement or horror that Carr achieves in books like "The Alienist". In short, Goodwin isn't a GREAT murder/mystery writer, but he is a GOOD mystery writer and what he does achieve here is an ability to transport the reader back to Istanbul in the 1830's. I had read Goodwin's history book of the Ottoman Empire, "Lord's of the Horizon" and what is remark ...more
Jun 11, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone

The Janissary Tree is the first time I’ve read anything by author Jason Goodwin. Set in Istanbul in the mid-19th century it reminded me of My Name is Black, but this is a less ambitious novel. Still it is a very good one, but shorter and probably much more accessible to the casual/average reader.

I liked the writing, the plotting and the descriptions of time and place. The author made me feel as if I was there and able to understand the life of the ordinary people that form the backdrop of this c
Jun 18, 2009 Bibliophile rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
The setting of the The Janissary Tree> is fascinating: the novel takes place in 1836 in Istanbul, with the Ottoman empire on the cusp between tradition and the modernity that will ultimately destroy it. And the main character, Yashim, who is a eunuch, certainly provides a twist on the traditional detective! However, I can’t say that I loved the novel as a novel, rather than as a thinly veiled history lesson about a rather forgotten period in history. In fact, every character was ready to spou ...more
Jul 25, 2009 Colleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whodunnit
Surprised this won the Edgar Award. Book was pretty dry and a little disjointed. I suppose that when the hero was in mortal danger, I was supposed to be nervous on his account, but I wasn't. The stakes if the eunuch failed his mission were pretty high--four terrible murders about to be committed, the sultan and his mother would be killed, city in flames, revolution and invasion, no more French novels--but I was blithely unconcerned.

Completely lacking in suspense. Also it was pretty obvious who t
Mar 25, 2008 Lynne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lynne by: Amazon
Shelves: 2007-2008
I read this because I was interested in the details of 19th century Istanbul, as it was faced with European influences and change. I'm a fan of detective novels only if I get a good dose of charactr and culture (as in James Lee Burke and Tony Hillerman), but this one felt wooden and contrived to if the author was more interested in the political and cultural history than the characters.
Javier Salazar Calle
Entretenido. Trama policial muy bien ambientada, pero algo falta de fuerza por momentos.
Sep 29, 2016 carlageek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very fun and very atmospheric. One of the cleverest things Goodwin does is make his central character a palace eunuch, one of the few people who can move between different strata of society - the palace, the harem, the hamaam, the city itself. This allows you, the reader, to peek into different quarters of the city, to enter a variety of Ottoman Istanbul's circles that ordinarily would have little contact with each other.

I read this shortly before I went to Turkey, and when I found myself on th
Harry Connolly
Jan 17, 2015 Harry Connolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking This is why I give terrific books like MAPLECROFT four stars, because I need room for THIS.

Then I got to the end, and the whole thing fell flat.

The setting is Istanbul in the 1830's, and an army officer has been murdered, his body displayed in a gruesome way. Imperial operative Yashim is brought in to solve the killing, and to find the other three officers who disappeared at the same time. Yashim is a man of some breeding who can move unobtrusi
Sep 14, 2009 Wendell rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I totally don’t get what the fuss is all about. The Janissary Tree bears all the earmarks of a first novel, including a healthy crop of irritating literary tics that I sincerely hope Goodwin will outgrow (to name one: the habit of ending many, many chapters with ridiculously purple Perils of Pauline-esque “cliff-hangers” [of this variety: “Little did he know how soon he would be seeing his friend again—and under what shocking circumstances!”]). Okay, I made that one up, but ...more
Sep 19, 2011 C.W. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In THE JANISSARY TREE, Jason Goodwin introduces us to a fascinating character: Detective Yasmin, a man whose keen observations of the world around him bring to life the tumultuous era of 19th century Istanbul. Yasmin is a eunuch, but not without his own appetites; favored by the palace, he is called upon by the Sultan, who is on the cusp of introducing sweeping changes even as he dwells in an archaic system of officials, harem girls, indolence and stifling etiquette. But when the bodies of four ...more
The Ottoman Empire is modernizing in 1836. The corrupt Janissary Corp was forcibly disbanded 10 years ago and the Sultan is on the verge of making sweeping changes. A series of disturbing murders are committed in Istanbul and Yashim must find the culprit before wide spread panic ensues.

The cast includes a Polish ambassador without a country, a Russian ambassador with a bored wife, the leader of the new Ottoman Army, the Sultan’s mother and a transsexual dancer, to name a few. The amount of char
The first offering in this detective series set in Istambul in the 1830's. Yashim is on the trail of a conspirary of former soldiers "The Janissaries" while trying to solve the murder of a woman in the Sultan's harem and the theft of the Sultan's mother precious jewels given to her by Napoleon's wife Josephine. The setting is exotic, the plot is intriguing. Yashim is endearing. Those are the pluses.

But... this book suffers from what I've nicknamed the "Dan Brown syndrome" 132 chapters for 300 p
Susan Hirtz
Sep 01, 2012 Susan Hirtz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I disregarded the unfavorable reviews of those who preceded me as readers. Mr. Goodwin is thorough as a researcher and obviously felt it important to his story to include the details of this period in Turkish history. I, for one, having read Suleiman the Magnificent and other books about the Ottoman Empire, think it vital for Westerners to understand the history of the Middle East.

The Janissaries were the Sultan's right arm in the expansion of the Ottoman Empire and helped him retain hi
Aug 27, 2016 Jaret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-500, audio-50
This was a decent historical mystery, but it was lacking in some areas for me. I loved the colorful backdrop that the setting held, but I wish Goodwin would have given more information about the Harem murder. He focused so much on the military murders and running around after Janissaries that he almost forgot to connect the end resolution to the original murder. But, I did like the characters and he gave me a good enough taste of the setting that I'll definitely check out another in the series.
Mar 01, 2015 Emlikescake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-related
Perhaps it's because I'm heading to Istanbul soon, but I liked this very much. Goodwin's descriptions meant I could picture the characters, feel the cashmere, get stuck behind donkey carts and taste the food. The Janissary Tree interweaves mystery with spiced coffee, dastardly fiends and history lessons of a sort. What fun.
Jun 17, 2009 Laurie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great mysteries in an exotic setting with an intriguing protagonist. Delicious.
A reader can divide historical fiction into two kinds: the kind where you know the general outline of what happens historically, and the kind where you don't. The Janissary Tree was the second kind for me. I know almost nothing about the Ottoman Empire -- a few names, a smattering about the Crimean War and the empire's part in WWI, and the phrase "The Sick Man of Europe." That's about it. In addition, 1836, when the book is set, is a time even in European history about which I knew little. Well, ...more
“The Janissary Tree” is an Ottoman detective thriller reminiscent of Orhan Pamuk’s wonderful “My Name Is Red,” though Pamuk’s novel is far more complex.

This novel is set in early 19th century Istanbul, ruled by Sultan Mahmut II. It is 1836 in Istanbul and Investigator Yashim Togalu, a eunuch in the employ of the seraskier (commander of Istanbul’s New Guard army) is presented with a problem: in ten days the seraskier’s New Guard is to be inspected by the Sultan, a young virgin in the Sultan’s ha
Feb 17, 2009 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goodwin, Jason. THE JANISSARY TREE. (2006). *****. This is an excellent debut novel from this British novelist who has previously written several books on the Ottoman Empire, in general, and on Istanbul, in particular. This is obviously the first novel in an intended series featuring his unusual protagonist, Inspector Yasim. Yasim is unusual in that he is a eunuch, and works for the Sultan. He is apparently not your usual eunuch, since he manages to have a sexual affair with the wife of the Russ ...more
Jul 05, 2010 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
Set in the 1830s, Istanbul seems peaceful with exotic spices perfuming the air. But 4 cadets of the New Guard are missing and their general, the seraskier, seeks the assistance of Yashim lala, the stealthy guardian of security, a trusted eunuch approved by the Sultan and who has access to the harem. When one by one, 3 of the cadets are found dead and in very disturbing circumstances, Yashim realizes that their disappearance and also the methods by which they are killed and where they are found h ...more
Yashim, an investigator who can travel anywhere within the Ottoman Empire to solve murders, is the unlikely hero of this novel. Four officers of the new military disappear, bright intelligent young men all. When they turn up murdered in horrible ways Yashim finds the trail appears to lead to the Janissaries, a ruthless group of mercenaries who served as the empire's guards for four hundred years. Because he is a eunuch, he can even move within the sultan's harem if needed.

Yashim must discover wh
Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 Beth Cato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Istanbul, the navel of the world, on the cusp of Europe and Asia. In 1836, the world is quickly modernizing, but the oldest of sins remains the same: murder. Specifically, four of the sultan's soldiers have vanished, and one found dead and trussed in a large kettle. At the same time, one of the harem girls is also found murdered. The sultan calls on the services of Inspector Yashim, a brilliant man - or somewhat of a man, as he's also a eunuch. Yashim's status brings him scorn, but also full acc ...more
Jul 22, 2010 Ensiform rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1836 Istanbul, a court advisor and eunuch, Yashim, is asked to investigate two seemingly unrelated mysteries: the murder of one of the sultan’s odalisques and the theft of the jewels of the Valide Sultan (queen mother); and the abduction and grisly murders of five New Guards. Working with the seraskier, or commander in chief, Yashim begins to believe that the deposed and feared Janissaries are plotting a comeback.

The author, a historian and writer of Asian travel books, brings 19th century I
I really enjoyed the first book in the series and the introduction to Yashim, the impromptu detective for the sultan and yes, a eunuch. The book was set in the Ottoman Empire in 1836 and you can tell the author knows his stuff. He really goes into great detail about the past history of the empire and how the Turks were trying to change with the influences of the European powers and modernize not only their culture, but also their military. Yashim is called to the palace by the commander of the N ...more
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Jason Goodwin studied Byzantine history at Cambridge University - and returned to an old obsession to write The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time For Tea: Travels in China and India in Search of Tea, which was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Award. When the Berlin Wall fell, he walked from Poland to Istanbul to encounter the new European neighbours. His account of the journey, On Foot to the Golden Hor ...more
More about Jason Goodwin...

Other Books in the Series

Yashim the Eunuch (5 books)
  • The Snake Stone (Yashim the Eunuch, #2)
  • The Bellini Card (Yashim the Eunuch, #3)
  • An Evil Eye (Yashim the Eunuch, #4)
  • The Baklava Club

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