THE SULTAN, THE VAMPYR AND THE SOOTHSAYER
An epic tale of two fathers and their sons
A compelling story of prophecy and intrigue at the fifteenth century palace of the Ottomans
A fictional exploration of the myth of the vampire
‘With a multifaceted narrative, diverse characters, and stunning historical detail, this book is completely absorbing. The author stirs together history, myth, political intrigue, and religious conflict to create a gripping, expertly researched story.’
The Historical Novel Society
‘Very well researched and gripping…a far more ambitious novel than Gioconda, covering a vast sweep of time and place…a huge leap forward in scope and accomplishment. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and stayed up night after night to read it.’
Mary Hoffman, Author
The initial idea for The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer came after I visited Istanbul in 2012. One of the sultanate’s most famous hostages was Vlad Dracula, whose family played a major role in defending Christendom from the Turks, although I didn’t know that at the time. What fascinated me about the remains of the Topkapı Palace at Istanbul was the harem, which was a real labyrinth of courtyards and rooms. It struck me as a prison, which is effectively what it was, even though many historians stress the power that women had at one point in the seraglio of the Ottoman court. And then there was the Romanian side of the story: Dracula’s family history.
I discovered a rare book on Romanian folklore in a French library one day while I was doing some research for an article on European travel. The book is out of print now; if that book was not the last copy in circulation, it was certainly one of the last. It was a documented exploration of the myth of the Romanian vampire, complete with bibliography. Reading it did give me the shivers at times, but the combination of Vlad Dracula and the Ottoman court was too enticing to pass up, and the rest of the story simply slotted in place.