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Extended Audio Sample The Janissary Tree: A Novel, by Jason Goodwin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,963 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jason Goodwin Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Janissary Tree, the first book in a new series, is set in a most extraordinary world and features a most extraordinary sleuth.

It is 1836. Europe is modernizing, and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim Togalu, a man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world.

You see, Yashim is a eunuch.

He leads us into the palace’s luxurious seraglios and Istanbul’s teeming streets, and leans on the wisdom of a dyspeptic Polish ambassador, a transsexual dancer, and a Creole-born queen mother. He finds sweet salvation in the arms of another man’s wife (this is not your everyday eunuch). And he introduces us to the Janissaries. For four hundred years earlier the sultan had them crushed. Are the Janissaries staging a brutal comeback?

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Goodwin, the author of a well-received history of the Ottoman Empire, Lords of the Horizons, makes a welcome shift to fiction with this impressive first of a new mystery series set in the empire’s declining decades.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “As Yashim wends his way in and out of the opulent palace and through the sordid back alleys of nineteenth-century Istanbul, the reader is treated to an appropriately exotic tour of a time and a place where intrigue, deceit, and corruption fueled perilous personal and political passions.”

    Booklist

  • “An unusual, exotic historical mystery that reads like literature and moves like a thriller.”

    George Pelecanos, author of Drama City

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Vivienne | 2/19/2014

    " Really enjoyed this unusual mystery set in Istanbul in the 1830s. Looking forward to further in this series as the characters were so engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brian Maicke | 2/11/2014

    " A nice historical fiction/mystery about the Ottoman Empire in the 1830's. The pacing was relatively fast without skipping richness of description. The overall story worked very well, especially for a first novel. I look forward to seeing how the main character, a eunuch named Yashim, develops over the course of the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sarah | 2/11/2014

    " Great setting (Ottoman Empire) and memorable characters (A eunuch, an ambassador without a country, a cross-dressing dancer to name a few)...This is a quick and enjoyable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Herschel | 1/16/2014

    " This novel is a decent mystery, but the best part about it is the way that the author describes the likely culture and inner workings of the Ottomon court in the late 19th Century. Ottoman society was a complex and rich mixture quite unlike anything we have had in the U.S., and I appreciate the author's effort to give it some real texture. As a result, I have decided to read a history of the Crimean War, and important precursor to the collapse of the Empire. "

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About the Author
Author Jason Goodwin

Jason Goodwin is the author of Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, A Time for Tea: Through China and India in Search of Tea, and On Foot to the Golden Horn, among others. He lives in Sussex, England, with his wife and four children.