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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Eleanora Cohen is born to Yakob Cohen on a tra...more
As promised FBC Rv below:
INTRODUCTION: The Oracle of Stam...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
A few things were unclear to me, including Eleonora's native tongue. I couldn...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
So, a couple of Tuesday afternoons ago I headed over to Barnes & Noble in The Pruneyard. Since Tuesday is when the new books hit the bookstores (and ereaders), I like to go in and check out what's new. Even though I'm on quite a few author email lists, I will oftentimes find a surprise or two. Lo and behold, at a table right near the front door, is a young man sitting with stacks of hardcovers and paperbacks. He looks like he's still in college, but he is an auth...more
It took me a while to appreciate his writing style and sense of time; for much of the book, I wished the action would progress faster, the conflicts arrive and be con...more
This is a fictional account of a little girl named Eleanora Cohen - later to be known as The Oracle of Stamboul. As a resul...more
Reading this first novel reminds one of Scherazade or the Thousand and One Nights. It has a degree of the mysticism and philosophy of the East and a cast of characters mostly strange to the reader. It is the story of a young girl, Eleanor Cohen, who, at the time of the story is eight-years old. Her mother died delivering her at childbirth, but the birth was surrounded by a bunch of mystical omens – all of which pointed to the fact that s...more
This is from the dust jacket, and is a most apt description: “The Oracle of Stamboul is a marvelously evocative, magical historical novel that will transport readers to another time and place—romantic, exotic, yet remarkably similar to our own.”
Our protagonist is Eleanora Cohen, a young Romanian Jew born in Constanta in 1877. She is born under several auspicious signs, leading the midwives attending her birth...more
This is a great book if you're looking for something atmospheric, with plenty of political intrigue and historical detail. The author has spent a lot of time in the Middle East, particularly in Turkey, and his experiences and...more
This is a lovely piece of historical fiction. Told mostly through the eyes of a c...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
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
"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
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
The Reverend raised his glass in toast.
'To Oriental colour. And old friends. Welcome to Stamboul.'
This is the kind of book...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