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Extended Audio Sample The Aviary Gate: A Novel, by Katie Hickman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (760 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Katie Hickman Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Elizabeth Staveley sits in the Bodleian library, holding in her trembling hands a fragment of ancient paper. It is the key to a story that has been locked away for four centuries—the story of a British sea captain’s daughter held captive in the sultan’s harem.

Constantinople, 1599: there are rumors and strange stirrings in the sultan’s palace. The chief black eunuch has been poisoned by a taste of a beautiful ship made of spun sugar. The sultan’s mother faces threats to her power from her son’s favorite concubine. And a secret rebellion is rising within the palace’s most private quarters.

Meanwhile, the merchant Paul Pindar, secretary to the English ambassador, brings a precious gift to the sultan. As he nears the palace, word comes to Pindar that the woman he once loved, Celia, may be alive and hidden among the ranks of slaves in the sultan’s harem. Can this really be the same Celia who disappeared in a shipwreck? And if it is, can the two be reunited?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Combining elements of The Tempest with gothic intrigue and charged, poignant romance, this is a sensuously involving novel. Teasing, erotic, suspenseful, and expertly done.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “This cleverly written escapist novel looks set to turn Hickman into the next Philippa Gregory.”

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “Dear reader, lie back on your ottoman and relax. Katie Hickman will take you to a magical land, the Topkapi harem in Istanbul in 1599. The intricate courts, alleys, and secret staircases of the Topkapi are enticingly described and contribute to a plot full of headlong twists and turns. Luscious…exquisite…a box of Turkish delight. Enjoy!”

    Independent (London)

  • “Languorous and filled with vivid, dreamlike images.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Louisa | 1/8/2014

    " Modern Istanbul and Ottoman Constantinople overlap in this book. Good for travelers, tourists, and anyone who likes a good story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Hege | 1/5/2014

    " This book had everything I love in the same book. Love, history and a mystery. I have now idea about how it must have been to be living in a harem, but this book gives you a peak into a hidden world of love, hate, jealousy and intrigues. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Heather | 1/3/2014

    " Couldn't do it. This wasn't a bad book, just not for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Randee | 12/25/2013

    " This was an interesting look into 17th cent. harem. A different part of the world that I am familiar with. "

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About the Author
Author Katie Hickman

Katie Hickman is the author of five books, including two bestselling history books, Courtesans and Daughters of Britannia. She has written two travel books, Travels with a Circus, which was shortlisted for the 1993 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, and Dreams of the Peaceful Dragon. She is the author of the novel The Quetzal Summer, for which she was listed for the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. Katie lives in London with her two children and her husband, the philosopher A. C. Grayling.