This is my opinion on the books I read. Remember, don't take it personally and don't get all shitty with me over it. I don't bash the author personally unless the author has bashed the shit out of me and yes one has. So I will bash Madeline Sheehan forever. Otherwise if a book sucks it doesn't mean the person sucks, I've had books I loved and hated by the same author before, it happens. Not everything will please everyone. This is only my opinon and how these particular books made me feel.
My account was removed from GR so at the moment I'm severely lacking in reviews and books but rest assured for the 2013 year I've read over 300 books.
Review also found at my http://kindlebooklove.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-drowning-guard-linda-lafferty.html
4.5 Omg I need a nap Stars
ARC provided by Netgalley for review
This is one of those books that you take your time with. I know I took too long but I had personal things that needed to get handled and when I got back into it, I was hooked again and couldn't wait to finish the story and hope for some kind of HEA after all that scandal, murder, and heartache. The story is one of those epic fictional storylines that made for a great movie in my mind. I'm not sure how well it would do in theaters just based simply on the fact that the author speaks about the Muslim religion and verses within the "sacred" book that have long since been removed and reinterpreted for fear of the power of a woman. Yes, many believe that a womans equality is satanic works. Uh huh.
The author did a great job depicting the Ottoman empire and all the scandal that surrounded a controversial woman in the early part of the 1800's. Nothing was set in stone as far as the truth of one REAL Esma Sultan, but there is fictional stories that travelled the grapevine about her sexcapades. I love how everything was spun into a great tale that people don't really know much about but all had stories of, I'm sure, at that time. Royalty are the equivalent of celebrities as far as gossip and scandalous stories taken out of proportion or having their own trusted servants leaking stories to outsiders.
I hated the character of Esma Sultan throughout the book and I had a very hard time liking her even when she did something to redeem herself. Although she seduced many Christian lovers to taint them in the eyes of their own God, so she could have glory in the eyes of her own, Esma was not this evil person everyone believed her to be in this storyline. Ok, not as evil as I thought. I was surprised and quite confused as to why each of her lovers was murdered each night. You do find out who did it and I'm not going to give that away in a review. It's like giving all the juicy details of a movie before you've watched it. This book needs to be read.
Ok I'm going to try to make sense as best I can, I'm extremely tired, but I need to get this out before I go to sleep and forget to do the review. I have been known to do that.
Esma is an Ottoman princess who sleeps with Christian lovers each night only to have them drowned afterwards before the sun comes up. A guard and a boatsman are assigned the duty every night of taking the Christian infidels out in the middle of the Bosphorous river and drown them. The drowning guard Ivan Postivich aka Ahmed Khadir hits the breaking point when he drowns an innocent man who would not sleep with Esma and died a virgin at his hands. Esma seems shaken by the fact that she could not seduce this one man and she stops taking lovers when she learns that the man was murdered anyway.
Esma and Ahmed soon begin to have nightmares of the drowned victims and soon all they can smell is rotting flesh and horrible visions of dead bodies and the ghosts of the infidels. Their guilt eats at them slowly. Esma learns from a Christian doctor that if she repents she can receive forgiveness and hopefully be rid of her nightmares and visions and get some rest, as she can't sleep at all. She then does the strangest thing ever. She seeks to confess her life story to the drowning guard as a means of repentance for all the wrongs she's committed. Things change between them as Esma tells her story and Ahmed learns of her horrible life story and learns where his long lost sister is.
Esma soon grows to care for Ahmed and there is much scandal with her brother the Sultan attempting to thward Ahmed at every turn and make him look like a fool, so he has a reason to kill Ahmed. The Sultan hates Ivan with a passion and goes to extreme lengths to kill him. He goes crazy with power. As Esma reveals more of her story and thinks she's eased her conscious she stops her nightly visits with Ahmed and attempts to resume a normal life and tries to take a lover again. Things go from bad to worse and all hell ends up breaking loose. War breaks out because of the Sultan's power hungry ways, Esma is getting sick again and is presumed to be going crazy. Ahmed, Ivan is almost killed.
The story did give me a happy ending, although it was entirely rushed. I wish it was more detailed. It ended like a fairy tale, happily ever after, the end. Yeah, that's not cool when that happens. I want some kind of picture of the future. I'm spoiled by other books I guess.
This was a great story. For only being over 400 pages, this book was so involved it seemed like twice as many easily. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written and a great read for the imagination. Wonderful job.