TITLE: The Oracle of Stamboul
AUTHOR: Michael David Lukas
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 300 pages
PUBLISHED: HarperCollins, 2011
HOW I GOT IT: Received from TLC Book Tours for Review and Tour
MY TAKE: The entire experience with this book (an advanced reader's edition) started from the moment I began unwrapping it. The outside packaging was sumptuous. The book comes encased in an elegant marbled eggplant-colored box/book cover made of heavy card stock. It is lined in a gold paper and has a stylish seal of a bird (that we later find out is the hoopoe from the story.) This rich treatment of the packaging signified to me that the actual book inside would be something special. It truly was an impressive beginning to a magical journey.
Besides Eleonora, there are many full-faceted characters in this lovely tale. Eleonora's guardian Moncef Bay and her tutor, Reverend Muehler are both interesting and intriguing. Throughout most of the story, the reader wavers back and forth as to what these men are really up to. Mystery abounds! Another fascinating player is the Sultan. While the POV is primarily Eleonora's, we are also privy to his thoughts at times. He is a very astute man who is much more in tune to what is going on around him than he is given credit for. His love of nature is also endearing.
I don't want to get too much into the plot as I hate giving anything away. This is a story the reader needs to savor on their own, without spoilers. It is a fast, fun read that will definitely provide an afternoon of pleasure. The end was satisfying, yet did make this reader hunger for more. I am hoping there is more to come from this author in the near future. I would love to continuing reading about Eleonora and her further wanderings. Mr. Lukas has left that bit of wiggle room at the end of this rich adventure for further stories.
I was amazed by the fact that this is the author's debut novel. He writes with a voice that brings to mind the storytellers of old ~ he draws you into the story, to become a part of the journey. It is easy to visualize the setting and the people without having a lot of needless extra descriptions thrown at you. He has the gift!
~~~~~ Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links. I may receive books in order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one. Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.