Yashim is no ordinary detective. It's not that he's particularly brave. Or that he cooks so well, or reads French novels. In this literary thriller, delving deep into Istanbul's crooked alleyways, and deeper still into its tumultuous past, Yashim discovers that some people will go to any lengths to preserve the traditions of the Ottoman Empire.
Yashim is no ordinary detective. It's not that he's particularly brave. Or that he cooks so well, or reads French novels. Not even that his best friend is the Ambassador from Poland, whose country has vanished from the map. Yashim is a eunuch. As the Sultan plans a series of radical reforms to his empire, a concubine is strangled in the palace harem. And a young cadet is found butchered in the streets of Istanbul. Delving deep into the city's crooked alleyways, and deeper still into its tumultuous past, Yashim discovers that some people will go to any lengths to preserve the traditions of the Ottoman Empire. Brilliantly evoking Istanbul in the 1830s, "The Janissary Tree" is a fast-paced literary thriller with a spectacular cast, from mystic orders and lissom archivists to soup-makers and a seductive ambassador's wife. Darker than any of these is the mysterious figure who controls the Sultan's harem.
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Jason Goodwin studied Byzantine history at Cambridge University and is the author of Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, among other books of cultural history and travel. He lives in Sussex, England, is married with four children, speaks French and German and once walked to Istanbul from Poland. This is the first of a series of novels featuring Yashim.
Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin
Used - Very Good
Faber & Faber
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