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December 17, 2021

The Sultan’s Court by R. A. Denny ~ a Review

by MK French


Following the events that left Peri and Daniel stranded in the past, Peri is left behind and gives birth to a daughter. Daniel and Ayoub have gone to the New World, and Peri winds up in the court of the ruthless sultan Moulay Ismail. As a slave, Peri has no rights, so her rescue will be a dangerous one.

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The Sultan's Court
October 2021; Indie; ebook (516 pages)
historical fiction

The Sultan's Court
is the second book in the Pirates and Puritans series, after The Alchemy Thief (read my review). You absolutely have to read that one to understand this one. All three of our main characters had been transported to the past thanks to a mysterious bodkin that they all came across in our present day, sending them back to the 1600s. Ayoub arrived as a boy and worked his way up to captain of a ship. Peri and Daniel arrived at different times, paths crossing with Ayoub as they all sought the book or the bodkin as a means of bringing them back to tour present.

As with the first book, there is a lot of detail, which means I had to read this more slowly to absorb all of it. We open with Peri giving birth in 1659 Morocco, a Christian slave within an Islamic nation. Daniel is considered a Native American slave on loan to Ayoub, who pillages ships of all nations. The two are left behind when Ayoub talks a lot about establishing a Muslim colony in the New World or taking over New Amsterdam. Despite creating a life in the New World, Ayoub quickly gives it up for his original plans. Peri has a place and friends in other slaves, all of whom help her raise her daughter, who is ultimately taken by the Sultan to be one of his five hundred concubines. In the future, Liam is still working to help his teacher and the Islamic State, though he must do so under an assumed identity.

The book progresses with three main threads: Daniel in the New World, getting caught up in the building tensions between colonists and Native tribes; Peri pretending to be a eunuch to find and rescue her daughter, with Ayoub trying to talk to that same sultan to establish a Muslim colony in the New World; Liam working with his teacher and a kidnapped man to recreate alchemical formulae. There is a lot of detail in each portion of the novel so that we get to see and experience everything that the characters do. Years have passed, and original goals are lost due to maturity. The time apart is eventful, and they still think of each other over the years. The ending of the book is satisfying and opens up the possibility of a third novel in this series.

Buy The Sultan's Court at Amazon
(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the ebook for FREE!)


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 



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