Odalisque

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Author: Fiona McIntosh
Barcode/ISBN13: 9780732283391
ISBN: 0732283396
Imprint/Brand: Voyager
Release Date: 24 Jul 2006
Format: A Paperback
Series: Percheron 01
Number of Pages: 592
Price $AUD: $20.99
Categories: Fantasy
Book
Australian Author

The first novel in an exciting new series from the bestselling author of The Quickening trilogy. The old Zar is dying and everyone but his heir has reason to wish him dead. Herezah, his elegant wife, can finally take her yearned for position as Valide Zara and rule through her son, Boaz, whilst the ambitious Vizier seeks to ingratiate himself with this scheming woman. Salmeo, the cruel Grand Master Eunuch, will gain more power through an alliance with the Valide, if only she can forget his vile treatment of her in earlier years. It seems that only Pez, the demented, deformed court clown, and Lazar, head of Percheron's security, truly care about Boaz. Lazar, charged with restocking the palace harem for Percheron's new young ruler, purchases the beautiful Ana. She is headstrong and gifted, and Pez and Lazar find themselves being helplessly drawn into the claustrophic palace politics and a wider web of intrigue concerning an ancient, cyclical battle between the demon, Maliz, and the Mother Goddess.

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Review by Josephine Crowley:

Fiona McIntosh has done it again!
Odalisque - book one of a new trilogy by this talented author is an exciting, indeed enchanting read.
I was captivated by the story of Percheron and its people, the intrigue of the Royal Court and the magic of several of its occupants. The author points a vivid picture of the city and one really feels part of it all as one reads. An enjoyable book suitable for all.
As usual the author has left us with a cliff hanger and we look forward with excitement to book two in this series.

Review by Steven:

I have a confession to make. I'm a gutter dweller in the Australian speculative fiction writer's ghetto, and I'd never read a Fiona McIntosh book.
This was remedied by reading Odalisque, book one of the Percheron trilogy.
The opening chapter didn't impress me at all, showing a slave taking out the best soldiers in the realm with nary a scratch. However this cliche so treasured by new writers soon moved into a rich world of culture, intrigue and brutality. A teenage boy becomes king (Zar) of Percheron and must deal with attempts to manipulate him. Those around him become pawns in this complex game, and the innocent suffer in terrible ways as the greater good is pursued. In the background a greater conflict of deities and avatars begins to build.
Odalisque, like many modern fantasies, raises a lot of questions and then ends with most of them unresolved. The obvious buy-the-next-book ploy left me feeling dissatisfied, but the quality of the prose, characterisation and plot are top notch. A fine start to a great looking trilogy.