The Sultan's Wife ~ Jane Johnson

Rating: HHH½
ISBN: 978-0-385-67002-9
Pages: 376
Publisher: Anchor Canada
Year Published: 2012

Book Blurb:
Morocco, 1627 - a golden kingdom ruled by a tyrant.

Nus-Nus, once an African prince, now the sultan's slave, is sent to the bazaar on an errand. There, he becomes entangled in a plot that could see him executed for murder. Caught between the tyrannical sultan, his sorceress queen and the malicious Grand Vizier, Nus-Nus seems doomed. 

     But when young Englishwoman Alys Swann is captured during a sea crossing and sold into the sultan's harem, an unlikely alliance develops between these two outsiders - an alliance that becomes a deep an moving relationship in which Alys and Nus-Nus find sustenance and courage in the most perilous of circumstances.

My Thoughts:

     This is a MUST read book! I was captivated from the very beginning. I could hardly bear to put the book down!

     It was very clear from page one that Jane Johnston not only adores her subject, but has also spent a great deal of time researching it. Not only does she include an extensive bibliography, but in the "about the author" blurb, it states that not only did she visit Morocco to research for the novel, but while she was there she met and later married a Berber tradesman. The Moroccan markets were brought to life - the sounds, the smells; the landscape was beautifully painted with word and I could almost feel the heat of the sun beating down on me and see the clashing of knives. And the characters ... they were fantastic! I absolutely loved the main character, an African prince turned slave to the Sultan, Nus-Nus. He was beautifully written; smart, caring, strong but not without his own personal tragedy. I really hope that there will be more books Nus-Nus - he deserves it!

     The novel is marvelously written. It is full of intrigue, deceit, deception, murder, sorcery ... all superbly woven together. There is romance but also heartbreak and personal tragedy. I do have a burning question however ... why is this book called the Sultan's Wife? The wife plays a major role however she is not present for a good portion of the book. The title is a bit misleading.

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