The Aviary Gate

The Aviary Gate

3.48 (1,549 ratings by Goodreads)
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Elizabeth Stavely sits in the Bodlean library with trembling hands. Before her is a fragment of parchment which has about it a dusty fragrance of roses, of sadness and great age. Here is the clue she has been looking for, to a story that has been untold for four hundred years. It is as though a voice is whispering softly to her across the centuries. Constantinople, 1599: merchants from all over Europe are vying with each other to gain trading rights in the Ottoman empire. Paul Pindar, a wealthy merchant, has been entrusted with the mission to deliver an extraordinary musical clock to the Sultan. But a disaster has befallen it on its journey from England, and the organ-maker Thomas Dallam must attempt to repair the effects of the seawater on the precious artifact. Pindar is troubled too by a secret sadness: the woman he once loved is now lost to him, drowned in a shipwreck. But there have been rumours of a new young slave with golden hair and skin like milk, sighted behind the gates of the Sultan's harem. Could this be his Celia? Deep inside the most private quarters of the Sultan's palace, a different drama unfolds: Hassan Aga, the Chief Black Eunuch, lies spreadeagled and helpless, his life slowly ebbing away. Beside him is an intricate ship made of spun sugar, perhaps carrying the poison that is about to take his life. A veiled figure stands over him, and as she moves away the light catches the huge emerald on her finger, causing it to glow like a cat's eye. The Aviary Gate is a tale of ancient alliances and intrigues, of forbidden love and dangerous secrets. Lush, magical and utterly absorbing, it is a masterful novel from one of our most acclaimed more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 152 x 232 x 30mm | 480.81g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Export ed
  • 0747594503
  • 9780747594505

Review quote

Praise for COURTESANS: 'Irresistible history at its most human. Elegant and addictively readable.' William Dalrymple 'A world of glamour and seduction, high spending and low intrigue.' Daily Mail Praise for DAUGHTERS OF BRITANNIA: 'This is a lovely book: affectionate, celebratory, and as conscious of the glory as the hardship.' Libby Purves 'This is a delightful and exceptionally well-written book, funny, lively and warm-hearted.' Daily Telegraphshow more

About Katie Hickman

Katie Hickman is the author of the highly acclaimed and best-selling Daughters of more

Rating details

1,549 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 16% (255)
4 34% (527)
3 34% (529)
2 12% (184)
1 3% (54)
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