Ebooks

“A confident One Thousand and One Nights for our present . . . Furious pop entertainment—full of sex, passion, violence, and magic” (Slant Magazine).
 
The sultan Bokhari Al-Bokhari of Bessa has 365 concubines—until a violent coup puts the city in the hands of the religious zealot Hakkim Mehdad. Hakkim has no use for the pleasures of the flesh: He condemns the women first to exile and then to death. Cast into the desert, the concubines must rely on themselves and each other to escape from the new sultan’s fanatical pursuit. But their goals go beyond mere survival: With the aid of the champions who emerge from among them, they intend to topple the usurper and retake Bessa from the repressive power that now controls it. The assassin, Zuleika, whose hands are weapons. The seer, Rem, whose tears are ink. The wise Gursoon, who was the dead sultan’s canniest advisor. The camel-thief, Anwar Das, who offers his lying tongue to the concubines’ cause. Together, they must forge the women of the harem into an army, a seraglio of steel, and use it to conquer a city. But even if they succeed, their troubles will just be beginning—because their most dangerous enemy is within their own number.
 
“The Steel Seraglio is not a work of feminist or utopian theory. Nor is it a historical fantasy, a romance, a thriller, a poem, an allegory, or an epic. Rather, somehow, it is all of these things.” —Neon Magazine
 
“A masterful, engaging and utterly fascinating story by three wonderful writers.” —SF Revu
“A fantastical ghost story and a suspenseful military mystery . . . A daringly original fantasy novel” from the authors of The Steel Seraglio (Publishers Weekly).
 
1740. With the whole of Europe balanced on the brink of war, an Austrian regiment is sent to the furthest frontier of the empire to hold the border against the might of Prussia. Their garrison, the ancient house called Pokoj.
 
But Pokoj is already inhabited by a company of ghosts from every age of the house’s history. Only Drozde, the quartermaster’s mistress, can see them, and terrifyingly they welcome her as a friend. As these ageless phantoms tell their stories, Drozde gets chilling glimpses not just of Pokoj’s past but of a looming menace in its future.
 
Meanwhile the humorless lieutenant Klaes pursues another mystery. Why are the people of the neighboring village so surly and withdrawn, so reluctant to welcome the soldiers who are there to protect them? What are they hiding? And what happened to the local militia unit that was stationed at Pokoj before the regiment arrived?
 
The camp follower and the officer make their separate journeys to the same appalling discovery—an impending catastrophe that will sweep away villagers and soldiers alike. Perhaps neither of them can prevail. If they do, it will be with the help of the restless dead . . .
 
“The House of War and Witness burns slow to start, but by the end it burns fiercely. It’s a compelling, accomplished novel, deft with its characters and interesting with its themes.” —Strange Horizons
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