The Aviary Gate: Katie Hickman

★★★

The Pindar Trilogy: Book I

This appealed for two reasons. You may remember that some months ago I read the third book in this trilogy, The House at Bishopsgate (not realising at the time that it was a third book). Impressed by its quality, I was keen to read the earlier novels. Secondly, Hickman’s insight into the world of 16th-century Constantinople promised to reveal the answer to a question that intrigues me. What exactly happens in a harem? Yes, that, obviously, but what about the rest of the time? Surely it can’t be all about lying on a chaise longue while eunuchs fan you and feed you grapes? Well, according to this book, it’s also about poison, vaunting ambition, intrigue and the gradual erosion of everything you know beyond the walls of the ironically-named House of Felicity.

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The House at Bishopsgate: Katie Hickman

★★★★

The Pindar Trilogy: Book III

I only realised that this novel was the third part of a trilogy after I had finished it, which goes to show that it reads perfectly well as a standalone book. In fact, I’m delighted to discover this because The House at Bishopsgate has left me itching to know more about the characters’ exotic histories. This is the concluding part of a story begun in The Aviary Gate and continued in The Pindar Diamond, neither of which I’ve yet read, but watch this space, as they might make an appearance soon. Hickman’s tale of intrigue, secrets, lost love and scheming ambition makes for an addictive brew.

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