First edition. Pp. [x], 274. Quarter bound amber-yellow cloth over black paper covered boards, lettered in white to spine; deckled fore-edges. Black endpapers.
Signed by Author to title page. Review copy, with publisher's bumf laid in.
Third novel in Tariq Ali's 'Islam Quartet,' being the fictional account of Iskender Pasha's Istanbul-bound family, which mirrors the growing strife and decay of the collapsing Empire. Like its predecessors – Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree (1992), and The Book of Saladin (1998) – the novel challenges stereotypical, western images of life under Islam.
Timeline covered is of a vast period, beginning with the conquest of the Iberian peninsula in the 8th century, via the liberation of Jerusalem by the armies of Saladin in the 12th century, to the rise and decline of the Ottoman Empire. "A richly woven tapestry that, even before its completion, merits comparison with Naguib Mahfouz's celebrated Cairo Trilogy. A great work in progress." –Kirkus Reviews