Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, February 14, 2011

The Oracle of Stamboul sparkles with storytelling magic

Michael David Lukas' debut novel,The Oracle of Stamboul,begins in the year 1877 as Eleonora Cohen is being born in the town of Constanta under some rather auspicious signs. One of those is the arrival of a flock of purple and white hoopoe birds,that seem to herald her destiny wherever she goes.

Raised by her devoted father,Yakob,and stepmother/aunt Ruxandra,Eleonora is for the most part a happy child except for the fact that Ruxandra insists upon discouraging and even concealing her strong intellectual skills.

When Yakob has to travel to the country of Stamboul as part of his rug trading business,Eleonora is so upset at being separated from her father for such a long time and makes plans to stowaway on board his ship:

Eleonora's scheme is successful and while for a time she and her father are happy together in Stamboul,a tragic accident parts them forever. While taking refuge in the home of her father's business partner Moncef Bey, she is allowed to mourn as well as pursue her love of learning.

Soon,her advanced intelligence draws the attention of one of Bey's associates,Reverend Muehler, a teacher at a local boys' academy who offers to tutor the clever eight year old. While he did expect her to be an attentive student,Muehler soon realizes just how powerful Eleonora's mental abilities are:

The Reverend's interest in Eleonora's education,however,is not wholly altruistic. Using his position in the household to spy on Moncef Bey for more than one government,he makes her savant like skills known to the Sultan and his advisers,who have Eleonora visit the palace to demonstrate.

Despite her initial nervousness,Eleonora is more than capable of giving the Sultan some sound advice on a troublesome political matter. Her reputation as a vast fount of wisdom soon spreads and before long,Eleonora is placed at a crossroads by several parties and must make an adult choice regarding the direction of her future life.

The real charm of this novel is in the alluring atmosphere created by Michael David Lukas for his characters to spring to near mythic life in. From the descriptions of the city of Stamboul to the details of a beloved novel called The Hourglass that influences Eleonora's life,The Oracle of Stamboul weaves a spell of old world enchantment and engrossing story telling. At times,the book reads like a well loved fable that has been lovingly retold from one generation to the next:

I'm not only happy to recommend this delightful novel but to be one of the stops on it's blog book tour as well. Following in the steps of Booksie's Blog,A Book Blogger's Diary and We Be Reading,from here you can check out more reviews at such places as Life is Short,Read Fast today and tomorrow at Melody & Words and Rayment's Readings,Rants and Ramblings. A fun way to know more about a great new book and check out a few other interesting blogs as well.

The Oracle of Stamboul is a sweet revelation to unfold and a true promise of more to come from this talented new author. The heart of the book is the journey of heart and mind that young Eleonora undertakes to find her destiny and true happiness. She is quite the classic heroine that girls of all ages will want to become:


Anonymous said...

I loved all the video clips - what a fun addition to your review! So glad you enjoyed this book. Thanks for being a part of the tour.

lady t said...

Thanks,Heather-it was my pleasure!

Ladytink_534 said...

I haven't heard of this! It sounds like an interesting story.