The sultan Bokhari Al-Bokhari of Bessa has 365 concubines - until a violent coup puts the city in the hands of the religious zealot Hakkim Mehdad. Hakkim has no use for the pleasures of the flesh: he condemns the women first to exile - and then to death! Cast into the desert, the concubines must rely on themselves and each other to escape from the ...
The sultan Bokhari Al-Bokhari of Bessa has 365 concubines - until a violent coup puts the city in the hands of the religious zealot Hakkim Mehdad. Hakkim has no use for the pleasures of the flesh: he condemns the women first to exile - and then to death! Cast into the desert, the concubines must rely on themselves and each other to escape from the new sultan's fanatical pursuit. But their goals go beyond mere survival: with the aid of the champions who emerge from among them, they intend to topple the usurper and retake Bessa from the repressive power that now controls it. The assassin, Zuleika, whose hands are weapons. The seer, Rem, whose tears are ink. The wise Gursoon, who was the dead sultan's canniest advisor. The camel-thief, Anwar Das, who offers his lying tongue to the concubines' cause. Together, they must forge the women of the harem into an army, a seraglio of steel, and use it to conquer a city. But even if they succeed, their troubles will just be beginning - because their most dangerous enemy is within their own number...
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-01-30 The family Carey (spouses Mike and Linda, daughter Louise) team up to explore the ancient city of Bessa and the horrors that befall it. When the sultan of the city is killed in a religious uprising, his concubines barely escape. Trapped in the desert, they are saved only because one of their number, Zuleika, is actually a trained assassin. Led by Zuleika, strong-willed Gursoon, and Rem, a cursed librarian who was cast out for the crime of preserving knowledge, they wander in search of hope. The Careys nest smaller tales within the larger story and often jump around in time; it's a good approach, backed by fast pacing and great characters, and the occasional tonal stumble like "What happens in the deep desert, stays in the deep desert" is negligible in light of the thrilling tale. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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