‘Harem’ is a romantic historical novel set in Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman empire.
This novel takes place at that world-famous crossroads between East and West, the endlessly beautiful Bosphorous strait. It is an epic story of romance and the way the action flows makes for a true Turkish delight. Weaving together the tales of an Ottoman princess and a young girl in the Ottoman harem, they travel through joy and hardship, love and pain in order to in the end, overcome adversity and discover their true selves.
One morning in the fogs of central Anatolia, a young girl goes out to check on the animals that her family keeps, and she never comes back. Out of a thick gray wall of fog thunders a rider on a great black horse, reaching down with one arm and snatching her up as he rides by, never losing speed. She is taken up into the mountains before making a long involuntary journey to the shore, where the rider haggles with a merchant for a good price for the girl. She sails for days on the Turkish seas, being thrown around by vicious storms and anticipation about what will become of her. Her voyage takes her finally to Istanbul, the most powerful metropolis of the old world and a hub of culture and business. She is taken to the Ottoman Harem, where she spends many years, before going out and seeing the world in a way that she never could have in our little village, from which she is so far away.
An elegant young Ottoman princess awaits her wedding day. She is excited and nervous and trusts the decisions of her parents completely. As a member of elite Ottoman high society, she is to be married to a noble young man from a powerful family, whose dignity compliments her elegance perfectly. The beginning of their life together is like sweet spring air as their family blossoms into full bloom. It isn’t until their autumn that their lives begin to get chilly. What was once an intoxicating perfume is not so satisfying, and the princess seeks other things in her life.
They cross many miles and many years before they meet, but when they do, their worlds are changed forever. Will they find what they are looking for? Will they ever make it back home?
- Timas Yayin Grubu, January 2011
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