Croutier describes the sumptuous but languid life of captives in the harem in this book. There are sections about the delicious food, the gorgeous clothes, and the grand interior decorations. The rituals of weddings and other ceremonies are vividly detailed, as well. Croutier brings the book to life with anecdotes from her own life and historical accounts and letters.
I liked the tales of the Western sultanas the best, including Roxelana and Aimee de Rivery. These women captured the hearts of the sultans and managed to become extremely powerful. Roxelana even managed to marry her sultan, which was highly unusual!
This book made me interested in Croutier's novels which also sound intriguing.
I received this free ebook from Abbeville Press via Net Galley in return for an honest review.