Slave Queen by H.B. Moore. My first thought was why the title? It did not give me a clue in the first few chapters so I got so curious and antsy. I can't wait to find out.
The story is set in the modern times in Turkey. Our hero is Omar Zagouri. An Israeli operative. Born from a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One night, he got a call from his father that his mother is sick. Based on the tone of his father, he suspected it was not just an ordinary sickness. There is something more and his father implies that he is needed. He then flew to Morocco with his girlfriend, Mia. When he reached his parents' house, his suspicions were confirmed. His mother was brutally assaulted in her office. And to add to his worries, the person who did it was trying to get information about Omar.
Omar has to find out why someone was trying to find him? Aside from his job, which he makes sure does not involve his parents, what could the reason be? He suspected, it was something else. Something more sinister and ancient. As old as 450 years ago, involving the Ottoman Empire and the wives and heirs of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.
This is the type of genre I really love to read. Stories that delve into intrigues and scandals of ancient families and history. Age-old stories and legends that are still influencing current situations and politics. So, obviously I enjoyed this book. I liked the plot and since I am not familiar with Turkish history, this is another tidbit of learning. I liked how the chapters were written. Very organized. And even if it involved three different settings, I did not have a hard time following the story. I had this urge to finish the story in one setting and I can't wait to find out why the title was Slave Queen. This was written in a very straightforward way with just enough suspense that will keep you engrossed. I can imagine myself being transported to Old Poland, to the Ottoman-era Istanbul, to modern Izmir, Casablanca and Istanbul of today. I can vividly see the minarets, the lavish Muslim edifices and the bloody battle scenes.
Aside from the exotic settings of the story, I also praised the mention of mixed marriages among different religions. A Muslim becoming Jewish then marrying a Muslim. A Christian converting to Muslim because of loyalty to a Muslim friend or falling in love with a Muslim. This is a peek into a world where religion could no longer be a barrier for cooperation and understanding. Hopefully, this concept would also become as commonly accepted as saying a prayer.
I felt like the new girl in the harem as I was also introduced into the harem world. It was like a grand tour of the ins and outs of the Ottoman Empire's harem. The do's and don'ts. How to rise up to the top and become a wife of the Sultan. It was like an in-depth history lesson of the politics and the intricacies of the Ottoman era, when royal families are still the law and trend.
I enjoyed the book and would love to read more of H.B. Moore as this is just one of the Omar Zagouri books she had written. I just wish that there were more in some scenes, particularly the escape from the island and how the older Mr. Bata was caught. I think they were too easy. The escape from the island was not so elaborate and it was like they were just let loose. The plan to capture Mr. Bata was so simple also. It was like he just delivered himself into the hands of the authorities. There was not a lot of suspense and resistance. I wish there could have been more.
I give the book three and a half stars because I thought it could have been better. It is captivating as it is but if the two scenes mentioned were amplified, there could be more power to the punch. I think H.B. Moore is almost in the league of my favorite authors of this genre, such as Clive Cussler, Steve Berry and Dan Brown. I would need to read her other works to be sure.
Why does anyone fight? Does the earth not have enough room for us all?
- H.B. Moore, Slave Queen -
I was browsing through my Goodreads account when I came upon ebooks for review. It's a site for new books that need an honest review. I was thrilled having stumbled upon this and immediately signed up to review three books which are what I would like to read based on the synopsis. About a week later, to my surprise, I got two emails with the ebook copies and asking me to give my review in 60 days. I was so elated because I got two ebooks for free and I would meet new authors. And most of all, this would me my first official review. I have done book reviews before but not because I was asked to do it. So, tada! I am now officially a book reviewer. This feels like a milestone for me. After about 6 months when I first started blogging and now I get to do an official review in exchange for a free book copy. Thank you Kathy of ebooksforreview for the opportunity. For those who want to do reviews in exchange for free ebooks, you can visit ebooksforreview.com.