'An absorbing, monumental story . . . a reliable, authoritative account . . . a balanced assessment of the Ottomans . . . a marvellous achievement, which deserves to provoke widespread debate'
A Turkish delight
'Splendidly written . . . Finkel's intimacy with the material makes this the most authoritative narrative history of the empire yet published . . . Detailed . . . Her narrative focuses on the dynamics of the imperial story . . . lively analysis'
'History written with a dynamic, modern feel and penetrating gaze'
Instructive . . . A fine single-volume account of a long and at times complicated period . . . Finkel clearly loves her subject
'The freshness of Finkel's history [is] striking. The secret, apart from an irresistible narrative style, is a generous openness to every aspect of Ottoman life and culture . . . What has often come across as an impossibly exotic procession of Viziers, Beys and Pashas is here brought vividly home to the reader'