It took me a while to get into this story, it really was a slow start for me. I began to like it a lot more when Esma began to tell the stories of her childhood to Ivan and their relationship begins to grow. Through Esma's stories we get to learn a little bit more about the motives of Esma herself, her brother the Sultan and one of her mysterious harem women. The relationship that Esma forges through the stories for Ivan is beautiful. However, Esma Sultan abruptly stops confessing her story to Ivan after a short time and we are left with only a brief look into her past and we never get to find hear her true feelings of all the drowned men. The story then turns to the battle between Esma's brother, Sultan Mahmud II and the Jannissary corps that he is now trying to rid his Empire of. I really did enjoy reading about this different time period and setting along with the religious struggles between the Sufis, Shiites and Christians. At the end I learned that this story was mostly based on fact, which made it a little better for me. Esma Sultan was a real sister to Mahmud II and she really did have her own harem and own female orchestra and was one of the first feminists in this troubled time and area.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.
Listen to Linda talk about The Drowning Guard.