Debbie's Reviews > The Oracle of Stamboul

The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas
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's review
Jun 15, 2011

really liked it
Read on June 15, 2011 — I own a copy

It was the beginning of the end for the Great Ottoman Empire. There were the obvious signs of civil unrest and international conflicts and there were more subtle signs in clandestine meetings and passed information. And it was during these troubling times when Elenora Cohen made her way into the world, it was on a Thursday while troops gathered on a hill and a flock of Hoopoes flitted about. It was not without tragedy that she did so as her mother died giving birth to her. She was attended to by her devoted father Yakob and her mother’s midwives until the arrival of her mother’s older unwed sister who would go on to become not only her aunt but her stepmother as well. Elenora had a relatively normal childhood and yet it soon became apparent that she was not a normal little girl as she possessed an uncommon intelligence and sponge like intellect and a somewhat mystical nature as well. This somewhat magical, mystical and enchanted little girl starts the journey of her life under a troubling star that will take her to the seat of the Empire and to it’s leader as well. But what will come of her, will she go on to great things and shine like the sun or will she go down like a burning nova. Open the pages of this multidimensional and eclectic read and find out.
Michael David Lukas brings us his debut novel with a plot that’s as diverse as the Ottoman Empire was at the end of the Nineteenth Century when his tale takes place with a story line ranging from politics to mysticism. He brings us this with a dialogue that combines prose, everyday narrative and at times militaristic jargon which mostly has a fluent feel to it. I did however find the fluency chopped up a bit at times by a bit of wordiness and although this happens it did not diminish my enjoyment of the read. His characters are the stars and they do shine from the stuffy Ruxandra, to the loving Yakob to the patient Moncef Bey and finally the Sultan himself and his mother, and Mr. Lukas takes his time with each of these characters so we readers get their full effect.
This read is not for everyone, but if you enjoy a real piece of literary fiction with enough history to satisfy the student, enough imagery to satisfy the dreamer, and enough occult to satisfy the mystic then you will love this.
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