Skadi Winter’s Review of The Secret Power of the Harem (Kindle Edition)

Kudos to Chardar Mihov for this master piece of a combination of well researched historical facts with a fast-paced, intriguing fictional story. He uses a colourful language and expressions to describe all the different dignitaries and high and low officials of the Topkapi Sarayi. He takes the reader back to the height of the Ottoman Empire in 1601, a multilingual empire, then controlling 32 provinces, from the Southeast of Europe over Western Asia to North Africa. Two powerful women, Koesem Mahkeyper, the 6 year old child-Sultan’s grandmother and his mother, Turhan Hatice, are fighting a fierce battle for power. Intrigues, betrayals, but also loyalty and friendship comes their way.
Topkapi, a political microcosmos of a world dominated by powerful men. The writer’s last sentence “There’s only one God, we just use different names for him”, the link where history meets our time.
All characters of the book are described with psychological insight and a love for detail. Colourful, like the time of the Ottoman Empire itself.
I strongly recommend this book to all history lovers and readers of good fiction. If it was possible to give more than 5 stars, I would have done so.


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