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Sofia Hardcover – April 1, 1996
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From Library Journal
When Giorgio Veniero first sees Sofia Baffo in the Venetian convent garden, he is struck by the power of her beauty and the sheer force of her personality. In spite of her youth, the governor of Corfu's daughter is determined to make an advantageous match. Failing to achieve this aim in Venice, she is sent home under Veniero's supervision. During the trip, their ship is captured by Turkish pirates, and they are both sold into slavery. Undaunted, Sofia begins her climb to power in the Sultan's harem. Chamberlain (Tamar, Forge, 1994) has written a fascinating tale that would have been a good deal better had it been longer and had the author lavished the same detail on her characters that she did on the setting. For large historical fiction collections.?Cynthia Johnson, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This elaborately detailed melodrama is set in the mysterious and enthralling world of the Ottoman Empire during the sixteenth century. When their ship is seized by Turkish pirates, a beautiful Venetian noblewoman and a virile young Italian sailor are kidnapped and sold into slavery. Ravishing and willful, Sofia Baffo is immediately procured for the royal seraglio. Fascinated by harem life and specially favored by the mother of the sultan, Sofia begins to exercise and relish an inordinate and exhilarating amount of power. Unfortunately, Giorgio Veniero does not experience such a pleasant fate. Brutally castrated and marketed as a eunuch, Giorgio struggles to rediscover and redefine his manhood. A vivid and lush brand of historical fiction. Margaret Flanagan
Top customer reviews
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I thought this book was supposed to about a young European girl's experience in a Turkish harem during the Ottomen empire, but it's really just a coming of age tale about the young man Giorgio and what he suffers for being in unrequited love.
I did not particularly like Giorgio, and since the book was written in first person, it was very difficult to get through. I kept hoping at some point it would actually be about what the preview says, but like previously mentioned any chapters directly about Sofia are few and far between.
Sofia was a pleasure to read, with its prose reminding me of the complex seriousness of Neal Stephenson, mixed a bit with the cerebral, sanguine feel of Isabell Allende.
The story itself is rich in contemporary historical detail, though not so much insofar as historical facts and events are reviewed, rather that the mindset and daily facts off life are portrayed accurately. The characters are well developed, the dialogue sharp and the story ark entertaining.
Most enjoyable to me were the thought provoking passages, such as the one on page 23 where the main character elegantly weaves together the anonymity of a costume party with what women wearing a full face hijab might feel throughout their lives.
I'm giving this book five stars because it has been a fun and intelligent read. The fact that we meet the author and that she signed our copy has not biased this opinion! Sofia is a mature work of literary art on par with books like ' the physician' by noah gordon. Buy it and support your local artists!
Most recent customer reviews
I was captivated by this novel from the start. I gave it three stars because of grammat and spelling errors and lag time.Read more