Writerlibrarian's Reviews > The Janissary Tree

The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin
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Feb 17, 2009

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bookshelves: february-pile, mystery, historical, read2009, atozchallenge2009
Read in February, 2009

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 pages amounts to 2 and 1/4 pages by chapters. It's annoying, it's very, very annoying. I don't have the attention span of a gerbil thank you very much. The pace of the action, the way the plot is managed suffer greatly from this choice. Luckyly, the short span chapter temper off in the last third of the book saving it for me.

The details on the way people live, the city, the seraglios, Yashim's particular situation (he's an eunuch) the "war" the Europeans are waging in the area with the "Great Game" between Russia, the Germans, the British and the French in the background make the plot and action interesting and keep your reading.

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Reading Progress

02/13/2009 page 55
17.19% "Interesting but 20 chapters in 55 pages it's 15 too many"
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message 2: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia good review. I just read the sequel, and the chapters are like a page and a half or less. I mean, I dont really care but... as i was reading, i found it distracting and I kept wondering why he didn't just break it up with pauses within the chapter. You know, like a normal person! But as you say, it has a lot of pluses that balance out the minuses. The sultan's mother appears again in the second book.

Moloch You're so right! I'm currently reading it and the mini chapters are soooo annoying!

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