The Oracle of Stamboul (Paperback)

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April 2012 Indie Next List

“This majestic debut follows Eleanora Cohen, an eight-year-old prodigy who, through a strange turn of events, leaves her life in Constanta and becomes an adviser to the Sultan. Lukas deftly evokes the sights, smells, sounds, and textures of 19th century Stamboul. The reader sees the world through the eyes of a small, precocious child as she negotiates with the larger forces of history. This is a stunning and thoroughly engaging read that will reach beyond the typical genre of historical fiction.”
— Rachel Marcus, Pegasus Downtown, Berkeley, CA

March 2011 Indie Next List

“A baby is born with the signs of a sea of horses, a conference of birds and the North Star in alignment with the moon. These signs fulfill an ancient prophecy that a young girl will put the world right again, on its axis. Eleanor Cohen, an eight-year-old child prodigy, learns of her fate just as the Sultan of Stamboul has requests her presence. He is so impressed by her that he asks for advice in matters of state. This is a tale of mystery and political intrigue set in the exotic locale of 1885 Istanbul, but it has definite significance for our own time and place.”
— Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI


Set in the heart of the exotic Ottoman Empire during the first years of its chaotic decline, Michael David Lukas elegantly crafted, utterly enchanting debut novel follows a gifted young girl who dares to charm a sultan and change the course of history, for the empire and the world. An enthralling literary adventure, perfect for readers entranced by the mixture of historical fiction and magical realism in Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Lukas evocative tale of prophesy, intrigue, and courage unfolds with the subtlety of a Turkish mosaic and the powerful majesty of an epic for the ages.

Praise For…

“Beguiling. . . . Lukas veers from the tried-and-true, making The Oracle of Stamboul a novel that offers delightful surprises.”
-Jane Ciabattari, Los Angeles Times

“Lukas . . . brings a raconteur’s sense of storytelling, a traveler’s eye for color and a scholar’s sense of history to his first novel. . . . Lukas has given us a Turkish delight.”
-San Francisco Chronicle

“An enchanting, gorgeous read . . . Lukas captures the scents and sounds, the vivid beauty, the subtle intrigue and simultaneous naivety, of the Ottoman Empire unaware of its imminent demise.”
-Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men are Gone

“A stunning debut . . . Lukas has managed to create an instant classic that feels as if it should be retroactively slipped into the great libraries of the old world.”
-Reif Larsen, author of The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet

“Michael David Lukas charms in his debut.”
-Vanity Fair

“A lyrical debut…A passionate novel that beautifully conveys the flavor of Turkish culture…focusing on the effect a young prodigy has on the political leaders of the time.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“This first novel by a promising young writer is both vivid historical fiction and a haunting fable.”
-Library Journal

“The exotic sights and sounds of nineteenth-century Turkey spring vividly to life in Lukas’ promising debut.”
-Booklist (starred review)

“A magical debut.”
-Good Housekeeping

The Oracle of Stamboul is a delight, a gem of a first novel.”
-Read All Day

“[An] impressive debut novel.”
-San Francisco magazine

“THE ORACLE OF STAMBOUL is one of those debuts that defies the norm.”

“...this riveting debut novel not only captures the atmosphere of the exotic European crossroads but also introduces a young girl who is utterly captivating.”

“In his enchanting debut novel, Michael David Lukas captures the mystical world of the Ottoman Empire.”-
-Book Beast

“A gem of a first novel…an appealing blend of magical and historical realism…This is a polished literary work that will appeal to a wide readership.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A beautifully written debut novel. . . . Political intrigue, historical upheaval and Eastern mysticism come together in surprising ways as Lukas brings the book to a poignant conclusion tinged with magical realism.”
-Mercury News

“An enchanting literary debut…A charming tale of passion and intrigue…that could be read in one sitting, spine-tingling descriptions will transport readers to another place and time.”
-Today's Zaman

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062012104
ISBN-10: 006201210X
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: August 30th, 2011
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: P.S.