In the Palace of Flowers
by Victoria Princewill
Publication Date: Mar 02, 2021
List Price: $15.95
Format: Paperback, 224 pages
Imprint: Cassava Republic Press
Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
Parent Company: Cassava Republic Press
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Sex and friendship, ambition and political intrigue, secrets and betrayal will set the fate of the two slaves— Jamīla and Abimelech—in this ground-breaking debut novel.
In the Palace of Flowers recreates the opulent Persian royal court of the Qajars at the end of the nineteenth century. This is a precarious time of growing public dissent, foreign interference from the Russians and British, and the problem of an aging ruler and his unsuitable heir. It tells the story from the unique perspective of two Abyssinian slaves: Jamila, a concubine, and Abimelech, a eunuch.
Torn away from their families, they now serve at the whims of the royal family, only too aware of their own insignificance in the eyes of their masters. Abimelech and Jamila’s quest to take control over their lives and find meaning leads to them navigating the dangerous politics of the royal court and to the radicals that lie beyond its walls.
Richly textured and elegantly written, at its heart In the Palace of Flowers is a novel about the fear of being forgotten.
- Inspired by the only existing first-person account of an Abyssinian slave in Iran
- Focuses on the lesser known Trans-Saharan slave trade, in contrast to the more documented Trans-Atlantic slave trade
- Publication coincides with a new exhibition – Epic Iran – at the V&A which opens on 13 February
- Victoria Princewill shines a light on an area of African history of which many readers know very little in a way that feels fresh and grand, yet contemporary.
- An atmospheric historical debut in the tradition of Jessie Burton, Laila Lalami, Kamila Shamsie and Yaa Gyasi.
- Filled with lush descriptions of palace tribe, and the intrigues, alliances and betrayals that make up the bitter politics of the harem.