Unabridged Chick

I'm Audra, a 30-something married lesbian. I love interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.
The Oracle of Stamboul - Michael David Lukas This book is like a divine dessert: decadent, delicious, and portioned just enough to make you wish there was another mouthful.  Lukas' writing style is playful without being ridiculous (see my Teaser Tuesday for a taste); it's really straight up enjoyable.  Pleasurable!The setting is an era that I'm unfamiliar with but find wholly appealing -- 19th century Turkey -- and Lukas offers gorgeous passages that place the reader squarely in Stamboul.  There's international intrigue and a host of characters but at no point was I overwhelmed by the story; like young Eleonora, we learn as we go, and Lukas' writing makes it so very easy.This isn't a plot heavy book and I found I kept bracing myself for the expected action movie onslaught -- evil machinations by her stepmother or the Sultan's advisers, manipulation by her guardian Moncef Bey or Rev James Meuhler -- but the story followed a more subtle even ambiguous thread.  Is Eleonora's genius really a gift?  Who is 'good' and who is 'bad'?   At the end, I honestly stared at the book a moment, astounded I had finished.  The story had to go on, I was sure; probably one of the first times I actually wished a piece of literary fiction would make a sequel.  I am hungering -- yearning! -- for more of Eleonora's world and Lukas' delicious writing.  I am desperately excited for his forthcoming novel - consider me a rabid Michael David Lukas fan.