The Oracle of Stamboul
An elegantly crafted, utterly enchanting debut novel set in a mystical, exotic world, in which a gifted young girl charms a sultan and changes the course of an empire's history
Late in the summer of 1877, a flock of purple-and-white hoopoes suddenly appears over the town of Constanta on the Black Sea, and Eleonora Cohen is ushered into the world by a mysterious pair o...more
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A few things were unclear to me, including Eleonora's native tongue. I couldn't tell wh ...more
If you enjoy reading for its unique possibilities — mellifluous language, vivid imagery, immersion in places and circumstances you might never experience — then you’ll love this book. From the very first page, The Oracle of Stamboul will draw you relentlessly into the world of the Ottoman Empire in its twilight years of the 1880s. You’ll meet an extraordinary child, Eleanora Cohen, and you’ll be present with her from the violence of her birth in Rumania through her ninth y ...more
Eleanora Cohen is born to Yakob Cohen on a tra ...more
As promised FBC Rv below:
INTRODUCTION: The Oracle of Stam ...more
I didn't find the main character very believable as an eight-year-old girl, even as an exceptionally gifted one, and none of the other characters really held any interest for me. I would find myself wondering about their ...more
I found the ending to be unsatisfying. The author could have tied up a few loose ends to finalize t ...more
Michael David Lukas created some interesting characters for this book. They were well developed, and the main character, Eleonora, kinda reminded m ...more
In the year 1877, Eleonora Cohen was ushered into the magnificent and opulent world of the Ottoman Empire to the smell of witch hazel, the sound of thunderous hoof-beats from Russian invaders, the flapping of wings from flocks of mysterious birds, and to the bright flashes of lightening striking. The Tartar midwives holding her up to the sky said she was the long awaited Oracle from a prophecy dictated long ago a by a king upon his deathbed. He foretold there would be a baby g ...more
a book transports me to a different time and place with people I want to spend time with,
I turn the final page satisfied but yet long for more, and
I immediately want to share the experience with a friend.
The book is wonderful, the story enchanting, and I'm convinced this book is a winner. It is one that I personally will provide copies to our public and the school libraries.
But this time, I'd like to share a bit more. Although I normally don't post about the phy ...more
The dialogue was mechanical and often annoying. Mr. Lukas has a habit of describing a situation, then givin ...more
I enjoyed it but it doesn't really feel all that Turkish, in the end. You could have picked Eleanor up and dropped her into any exotic location with a sultan/king/emperor and the story could have been the same. I think the author wrote the book to get to write Istanbul but it wasn't essential for the story somehow.
And while it isn't classified YA, it had that f ...more
Original review with additional historical bits at Layers of Thought.
A poetic page turning historical début with an unusual and precocious young girl as the main character. All set in an exotic, magical, yet politically volatile country and time.
About: When Eleanor Cohen is born there are auspicious signs that she is not your normal child. She is to be a prodigy with gifts of memory, languages, extreme intelligence and something which is just a tad mystical. Set in the late 18 ...more
Perhaps that is not a fair criticism of a book wherein a child is born amidst signs and portents, discovers that she has mental abilities beyond her years, runs away from home in a steamer trunk, buries ...more
The setting is an era that I'm unfamiliar with but find wholly appealing -- 19th century Turkey -- and Lukas offers gorgeous passages that place the reader squarely in Stamboul. There's international intrigue and a host of characte ...more
Which is why I really wish I could give this first novel a rating higher than 3 stars. The book is no doub ...more
While to book is simple, for there is not much there except a bit of intrigue and the precociousness of our heroine, Eleanora, there was a sense of peace to this tale. Eleanora only a girl of eight ha ...more
"The Oracle of Stamboul" brings to life a crucial time in the life of Instanbul. It encompasses the ending of the Ottoman empire, the relaxati ...more