Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Review for The Haunted Sultan by Gillian Zane - 4 out of 5


The Sultan’s Palace is one of the most horrific tales of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. The Sultan, a Turkish man who lived there in the late 1800s, is said to be seen staring down at people on the street from the third-floor balcony of the house nicknamed The Sultan’s Palace. On most nights in the French Quarter, haunted tour groups traipse past the majestic house while tour guides weave tales of mass murder, thieving pirates and jealous brothers…but none know the real truth.

Sierra is spending her twenty-first birthday with her best friend in New Orleans. It’s Halloween and what better way to celebrate the night than on a spooky haunted tour? Sierra has to have the whole package though, and with her best friend leading the way, they find a costume shop down a dark alley and a mysterious shopkeeper who has the perfect costume for her. She doesn’t want money though, only a favor, help the one that asks. Clothed in a breathtaking costume, with a mysterious key around her neck, Sierra goes on the haunted tour and quickly forgets the strange shopkeeper, especially as she strikes up a conversation with Owen and sparks begin to fly. She doesn’t remember the words of the shopkeeper until someone asks for help…and the key around her neck opens the door to the Sultan’s Palace.


*I received this book for an honest review* *may contain slight spoilers, nothing too major*

I enjoyed that this story is based off an actual haunted house! The Haunted Sultan takes place in New Orleans, where 2 friends are there to live it up on Bourbon Street, and while Sierra wants to start hitting the bars, her friend wants to go on a haunted house tour instead, so Sierra gives in and decides to go on the tour. Since it's Halloween and Sierra doesn't have a costume, the girls go to a costume shop where Sierra is given the perfect costume, which comes with a skeleton key necklace, for free, as long as Sierra does one favor for the shopkeeper. Sierra is a little wary, but can't resist the amazing costume, so she accepts, and the girls begin the tour. On the tour, Sierra is sort of bored, but Sierra meets a hunky specimen of a man in Owen and begins a flirtation with him. When the tour stops at the Sultan's Palace, which was said to be a den of pleasure and debauchery and also the scene of a bloody massacre, Sierra and Owen begin to experience strange, ghostly things, and the skeleton key comes into play. I loved the whole premise for this story, and I loved how the writing flowed, and all the author's description were great and created an interesting picture. I liked both Sierra and Owen, and I liked the romance with them, but it was hard to enjoy it fully since they weren't exactly fully aware, and there was some orgy scenes, which aren't really my thing, luckily those scenes weren't really part of the main characters. Also, there was quite a bit of gore involved, since the characters are at the scene of a gruesome massacre, so that also didn't jibe well for romance, but definitely made for a more intense story. The Haunted Sultan was a very interesting story that kept me entertained till the very end!

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