“[This] magical, engrossing… novel of intrigue and forbidden love manages to be both cerebral and entertaining. With all the intricate detail of historical nonfiction and all the pace of romantic drama, this is beautifully written stuff.” — Glamour (UK)
In Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Elizabeth Staveley has found a fragment of ancient paper that may hold the key to a story hidden for four centuries: a British sea captain’s daughter held captive in the sultan’s harem.
Constantinople, 1599. In the sultan’s palace, the chief eunuch has been poisoned by a beautiful ship made of spun sugar, and a rebellion is rising within the palace’s most private quarters. A British merchant, Paul Pindar, brings a precious gift to the sultan and discovers that the woman he once loved, Celia, may be alive, hidden among the ranks of slaves in the sultan’s harem. Can this really be his shipwrecked Celia? And if it is, can they be reunited?
Steeped in mystery and sexual intrigue, The Aviary Gate transports readers to exotic sixteenth-century Constantinople, offering the rarest glimpse into the forbidden confines of the sultan’s harem.
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