The Steel Seraglio

The Steel Seraglio

Book - 2012
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"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."--P. [4] of cover.
Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : Chizine, c2012.
ISBN: 9781926851532
Call Number: CAREY
Characteristics: 424 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Subjects: Science fiction.
Fantasy fiction.
Historical fiction.
Revenge -- Fiction.
Coups d'état -- Fiction.
Desert survival -- Fiction.
Harems -- Fiction.


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multcolib_ednak Aug 17, 2015

How do you turn 363 pampered women into a guerrilla army?
Kill the husband;
exile them to the desert; then, threaten to kill their children. What happens next has to be read to be believed...

Jul 28, 2015

OK, "The Steel Seraglio" sounds like a steampunk book, but it's actually a rich fantasy filled with magic realism, action and adventure. When a religious fanatic orders the death of Bessa's Sultan and the Sultan's children, the harem is condemned to exile in the desert. Once they reach the sandy wastes they are to be executed, but they cleverly turn the tables on their would be killers, Together, the former harem becomes a force to be feared; especially by the city of Bessa.

The Careys tell the story in lovely, dream like prose that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, as well as fantasy and adventure fans who would like to see women as the protagonists in a story, rather than the usual helpless pawns or evil influences. My personal favorite was the librarian who managed to save the royal library, even after the fanatical cabal had condemned all books to be destroyed. This book's a keeper.


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