A lush historical epic, The Fourth Queen is the story of one woman’s struggle for power and love in the court of the eighteenth-century Emperor of Morocco. Poetically intense and sensual, it marks the debut of a gifted new author.
Beautiful Helen Gloag is determined to escape the cycle of poverty and early death that has destroyed so many women in her native Scotland. Barely out of her teens, she flees her hometown and sets sail for the Colonies on a ship bound for Boston. But the ship falls prey to a band of corsairs—pirates from the Barbary coast of Africa. Helen is taken captive and sent to a procuress in Morocco, where women are sold into the slave markets of the nobility. In the procuress’s house, she is discovered by the witty, soft-hearted dwarf Microphilus, who oversees the Harem of the Emperor himself. Knowing her red hair and milky skin will enthrall his master, he takes her to Marrakech, and the imperial palace.
The Harem of the Emperor is a mysterious, voluptuous, and forbidding place, a hive of dangerous political tensions and unlikely friendships. Microphilus, himself a Scot captured by pirates as a young man, has found his fortune in the Emperor’s Harem, where he serves the Queens, including the charismatic, amazonian African empress Batoom, who is his lover. With Microphilus’s help, Helen learns to negotiate the politics of the Harem and compete for the Emperor’s favor.
Cast into the luxurious but sinister world of the Harem, Helen is at first terrified of the godlike and often cruel Emperor, but she soon becomes his favorite. Eventually, out of all the Harem women, she is chosen to become his fourth wife—the greatest of honors, since the Emperor may have hundreds of concubines but only four official wives. With her marriage, however, comes the greatest danger. Helen’s predecessor, the other “White Queen,” has succumbed to a mysterious, disfiguring illness and is slowly wasting away. Poison is the most likely cause, and Microphilus knows that Helen is destined to be the next victim.
In the Harem, hundreds of women are vying to be one of the four queens, thus setting the scene for the tragic power struggle and love story that ensue.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Helen Gloag flees 18th-century Scotland for the colonies, only to be captured by pirates and sold into slavery. In Morocco she is taken to the Emporer's harem, where one of his queens has just been dismissed. Can Helen fill the vacancy before someone in the harem prevents her?About the Author:
Debbie Taylor is editor of Mslexia, the fastest-growing literary magazine in the UK. She lives in Newcastle with her family and this is her first novel.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Book Condition: good. 503 Gramm. Bookseller Inventory # M00141016590-G
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: Near Fine. When Helen Gloag storms out of her fatherís cottage and heads for the coast , her plan is simple: an escape from Scotland, a pleasant sea voyage, a new start in the American Colonies. Yet what begins as an adolescent rebellion quickly turns into the stuff of nightmares. The grueling poverty and despe ration Helen had hoped to escape by leaving home is magnified ten-fold in t he hold of the ship, where illness and starvation run rampant. Then one day , Helen makes a startling and useful discovery about the gross stratificati on of society: while she and the other passengers wrestle for scraps in the squalid pestilence of the shipís belly, the captainís silk-clad guests enj oy claret and crumpets above-deck. The germ of a resolution takes hold in H elenís mind. She will do whatever it takes to become a proper lady, with go rgeous clothes and sumptuous food, soft hands and idle days. Helen has no i dea just how soon her wish will come trueóand what a bizarre and devastatin g price she will pay for it. Bookseller Inventory # RWARE0000014377
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR006210641
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR002175698
Book Description Penguin Books 2004, London, 2004. 486 p.novelle - in buono stato. Bookseller Inventory # ENG 0236