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Odalisque: Book One of The Percheron Saga Paperback – Bargain Price, March 13, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
This novel has a lot of faults, in my opinion. First, the characters are bland and absolute, without any ambiguity: The good characters are wholly good and distinguishable by their simplicity, whereas the bad characters are wholly bad and distinguishable by their extravagance and ambition. Why is ambition a bad trait? Lazar would have been a more interesting and complex character if he had ambition. He is the best warrior and has the support of the army. Why doesn't he take steps to remove the bad guys or secure his position? And what is his position? Although he commands the army, Percheron does not seem to be at war with anyone. If there is no one to fight, why is he so important? Second, we know events before the characters do, thereby ruining any suspense and mystery. For example, we know about Tariq while none of the characters knows. Wouldn't the novel be more fun if we had to guess who Maliz would corrupt? Third, there is a lack of action and conflict. If this novel were made into a film, it would be a "talkie" because very little happens besides talking. Fourth, everyone notices that Pez and later Tariq are more than what they seem, but no one does anything about it. How stupid are these people? Fifth, the harem has all of these rules that are routinely broken for the sake of the story. For example, no men are allowed in the harem, except for Pez. How convenient considering his role in the novel is to take messages to everyone.Read more ›
That about sums up my description of Odalisque. The first volume of McIntosh's The Percheron Saga, this book brings together well-developed characters, logic and consistency with then setting, an interesting storyline, and true wordsmithing. The book is a joy to read.
This book is only nominally your typical sword-and-sorcery. Yes, the setting is where swords may be the weapon of choice, and magic is a part of the landscape, but this novel goes far beyond the typical fare. McIntosh's Percheron is not the typical pseudo-European medieval environment. Percheron is more of an Ottoman-inspired setting, which opens up intriguing political and social situations to explore, such as that of harems, eunuchs, palace guards, justice, and the like which are not available in standard sword-and-sorcery tales. (Although not in Odalisque but rather in the second volume of the saga, Emmissary, the conflict between the Percherons and a more Arab-influence group of the same overall religious beliefs who feel the Percherons have drifted off the true path can be taken as a deep commentary on current Persian/Arab differences.)
The story centers on some main characters as they deal with a religious conflict. The Goddess Lyana is resurrected every thousand years or so, and she is fought by Zarab, a male god. Over the last few millennium, Zarab has triumphed, and the worship of Lyana has faded throughout Percheron in favor of the worship of Zarab. The story begins as events unfold to start this cycle once more.
The cast of characters include Lazar, a former slave who has risen to be the head of Percheron's military, Ana, a young girl brought into the harem for the new 15-year-old Zar, Boaz.Read more ›
I thought the book's premise was promising. The setting is Percheron, a city with a culture clearly inspired by the Ottoman Empire at its height; a very old city, powerful politically and economically, seen by both its inhabitants and outsiders as being highly cultured and very influential, a city built with an excellent harbor and at a great crossroads of trade. The culture has many of the trappings associated with the Ottoman Empire; huge palaces, a powerful ruler (in Perchereon the ruler is referred to as a Zar), served by among others a vizier as well as eunuchs, the latter of which guard a harem of women, who like many of the woman of the setting wear a veil except in private.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I usually don't read adult fantasy books but picked up one written by Fiona McIntosh at a dollar store and am hooked. Her books are normally trilogies and they are amazing. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Patrick Corkran
A charming series on the fight between good and evil. Smooth flowing and at times hard to put down. Any one who enjoys the Greek and roman myths will love this.Published 9 months ago by jc
Started of with a love/hate relationship with characters. Which actually aided in loving those characters you can only love what you truly hate so it added diminsion to said... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Phyllis Lindemann
Excellent book, really enjoyed from start to finish. Great characters and storyline.Published 23 months ago by Toni Hickey
I couldn't get into this story at all and gave up on it after 40-50 pages. The characters didn't seem to come to life and the plot was thin. Read morePublished on August 1, 2014 by Gary [RVRoamer]
This is the first novel that I've read by Fiona McIntosh and I was very impressed. The characters are interesting, the setting is unique and the story moves along at a steady pace. Read morePublished on July 3, 2014 by Jmac
Interesting story line. Good characters you really begin to feel for them. Not the best book I have ever read but a good book.Published on April 10, 2014 by rona
This was not my type of book, and I quit reading it after a few chapters. Although it was well-written, I did not click with the characters.Published on March 28, 2014 by Pamela A. Morarre