The Steel Seraglio

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ChiZine, Apr 10, 2012 - Fiction - 439 pages
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The sultan Bokhari Al-Bokhari of Bessa has 365 concubines—until a violent coup puts the city in the hands of the religious zealot Hakkim Mehdad. Hakkim has no use for the pleasures of the flesh: he condemns the women first to exile and then to death. Cast into the desert, the concubines must rely on themselves and each other to escape from the new sultan’s fanatical pursuit. But their goals go beyond mere survival: with the aid of the champions who emerge from among them, they intend to topple the usurper and retake Bessa from the repressive power that now controls it. The assassin, Zuleika, whose hands are weapons. The seer, Rem, whose tears are ink. The wise Gursoon, who was the dead sultan’s canniest advisor. The camel-thief, Anwar Das, who offers his lying tongue to the concubines’ cause. Together, they must forge the women of the harem into an army, a seraglio of steel, and use it to conquer a city. But even if they succeed, their troubles will just be beginning—because their most dangerous enemy is within their own number.


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The Taking of Bessa Part the First
The Cooks Story
The Taking of Bessa Part the Second
Bessa at Once and Ever
Book the Second
The Gold of Anwar Das
The Uses of Diplomacy

The Cup Lands Part the Second
The Tale of the Librarian of Bessa
The Tale of the Librarian of Bessa
How Hakkim Found His Enemy
The Youth Staked Out in the Desert
The Fate of Those Who Search for Truth
In the Mountains of the North
The Tale of the Assassin Who Became a Concubine
The Tale of the Poisoned Touch
Anwar Das
The Tale of the Man Who Deserved Death No Fewer Than Three Times
Reading Lessons Part the First
The Council of War
Givers of Gifts
Reading Lessons Part the Second
In the Fullness of Time
The Lion of the Desert
The Making Ready
Mushins Tale
Seven Days of Siege
The Storm
How the City Was Unmade
The Tale of a Man and a Boy
The Tale of the Book
The Tale of Tales

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About the author (2012)

Linda, Louise and Mike Carey are three writers living in North London. Sometimes they write together, sometimes alone.

Louise wrote The Diary of a London Schoolgirl for the website of the London Metropolitan Archive. She also co-wrote the graphic novel Confessions of a Blabbermouth with Mike.

Linda, writing as A.J. Lake, authored the Darkest Age fantasy trilogy. She has also written for TV, most notably for the German fantasy animation series Meadowlands.

Mike has written extensively in the comics field, where his credits include Lucifer, Hellblazer, X-Men and The Unwritten (nominated for both the Eisner and Hugo Awards). He is also the author of the Felix Castor novels, and of the X-Men Destiny console game for Activision. He is currently writing a movie screenplay, Silent War, for Slingshot Studios and Intrepid Pictures.

They share their crowded house with two other writers/artists, a cat, and several stick insects.

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