|The Magpie Lord|
The Magpie Lord
Intrigue, sex and magic are fabulous ingredients for a successful and engaging novel, with the additional edge of being set against a contrasting Victorian background. The Magpie Lord is my first book of the Charm of Magpies series and by the author, but I’m pretty sure I’ll cast my eyes on other episodes of the saga very soon.
|The Persian Boy|
The Persian Boy
Bringing back to life an ancient and extraordinary story of the conquest of an unimaginably vast empire by a young and passionate Alexander the Great, seen from the eyes of his affectionate lover, Bagoas. The Persian Boy by Mary Renault, will provide many hours of riveting reading and the pleasure of travelling back to a time of great battles and intense emotions.
The White Castle is one of the first novels written by a young and talented Orhan Pamuk, later a Nobel Prize winner. The main theme of this book is the ambivalent relationship between assertion of identity and ambiguity, personified by the two main characters in the plot. They start their psychological journey in the story from opposite ends, one in Italy as a promising scholar who gets made prisoner by the Turks, the other one in Turkey as a scholar close to the court of the sultan who takes the Italian as his slave, attracted by the idea of what he could learn from him. Throughout the book the roles of master/slave, teacher/student ambiguously alternate between the two characters and, surely, the end of the novel does not give the reader any clarity on where the two men stand or if, indeed, we have two different people involved in the story. Very intriguing way of constructing the architecture of the book. What happens inside and around the two characters does not have enough depth to engage the reader throughout the book. Pamuk has been able to develop much more his obvious talent as a writer in subsequent works, while this one shows his mastery in pulling together a good psychological plot. First published in 1985.