“Everyone aims at the same meaning, but many are the versions of the story.”
—Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent
Turhan’s mission was supposed to be simple: travel from the Ottoman capital to a Bulgarian village overseen by a rebellious magistrate, use his battle-enchantment to seize control of the minds of everyone in earshot, kill them, ride home. But the magistrate’s magical resources are greater than Turhan could have expected, and the rebellion is more vile than he could have imagined. Also, there’s this witch.
Elena is an ensensoress, using the charm in her fingers and the textures in the amulets she carves to control people’s minds. When the evil nature and disastrous scope of the magistrate’s plan become apparent, she compels Turhan into protecting her town.
If they are to keep themselves alive and the town safe, Turhan and Elena must find reasons to cooperate. In the mean time, mind control will have to do.
THE SULTAN’S ENCHANTER is a historical fantasy set in Ottoman Bulgaria, where art is power and love is easy to mistake for compulsion.
STATUS: Looking for beta-readers (comment below for details!)
Ars Magica: How to tell a charming lie.
St. Lazarus’ Day: A spring ritual
Ottoman-era Bulgaria with pictures!
Vocabulary and Slice of Life from Koprivshtitsa, an architectural preserve.
Other information on my tumblr research page
NARRATIVE OF TRAVELS EUROPE, ASIA, AND AFRICA, THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY by Evliya Efendi. Translated from the Turkish by the Ritter Joseph Von Hammer
Medicinal plants from an old Bulgarian Medical Book by Anely Nedelcheva
Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire by Mehrdad Kia
Bulgarian Holidays and Traditions by Maria Prodanova
Koprivshtenski pesni published by the community center (chetalishte) of the town of Koprivshtitsa
Ottoman kit (for information on uniforms)
“Refined Tastes in a Refined Place: Eating Habits an the Ottoman Palace During the 15th-17th Centuries,” by Arif Bilgin