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Steve DonoghueThe complicated plot that unfolds is deftly controlled throughout, with dangers, chases, intrigues and frequent trips back to the harem. Goodwin's prose is sharp and surprising…and the best part of the entertainment is none other than Yashim, a redoubtable, philosophical hero who finds himself in a dirty, battered world yet still holds out hope…maybe the poor old Ottoman Empire would have lasted a bit longer if it had had more Yashims to call upon. As it is, we must hope the original has many, many more adventures.
—The Washington Post