1997 "First Edition: April 1997" stated on copyright page; Tom Doherty Associates Book publishers, New York; hardbound; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
Giorgio Veniero, once a Venetian sailor, now a eunuch, guards the life and honor of his beloved mistress, Esmikhan, wife of the Grand Vizier. Unable to bear children that survive, the Sultan's daughter nearly resigns herself to a life alone, unloved by absent husband or child.
Sofia, captured by the Turks at the same time as Giorgio, enthralls the heir to the Ottoman Empire with her loving wiles. Secure within the cloistered depths of the harem, Safiye, as she is called, wields power that stretches its tendrils far beyond the palace walls.
When these plots grow to threaten Esmikhan, Giorgio does what he can to thwart them. But his more difficult challenge lies in the love he bears Esmikhan. When kidnappers threaten her, this slave must choose between his chance to regain freedom and his desire to help the woman he loves. And when forbidden passion tempts her astray, earlier dangers pale in comparison. Giorgio finds that he holds Esmikhan's happiness in his hands--and risks death for both of them, should he give it to her.