'The Aviary Gate' reviews
"A magical, engrossing read that takes us inside a 16th century harem - and into a world populated by scheming, exotic characters. Coupled with a dual narrative of a 21st-century academic playing detective as she pieces together age-old clues to the whereabouts of a missing girl, this absorbing novel of intrigue and forbidden love manages to be both cerebral and entertaining. With all the intricate detail of historical non-fiction and all the pac of a romantic drama, this really is beautifully written stuff."
"This entrancing novel marries a plot so thrilling you'll miss your station stop with meticulous historical detail..... In 1599 Constantinople, the harem is ruled not by the Sultan, but by his mother, the scheming charming Safiye. Politics, danger, prohibited love and death lurk within. Outside, merchant Paul Pindar discovers that Celia, the woman he loved, is imprisoned inside the harem. Shift to present-day England and, smarting from a doomed love affair, graduate researcher Elizabeth is drawn into unfolding Celia's story. Insatiably gripping."
"Forbidden love, sailors and secrets - fasten your seat-belt for Hickman's period tome. Celia, a prisoner in the Sultan's harem, is romanced by Paul Pindar, a dashing merchant with a dangerous secret. Think Jane Austen meets the Pirates of the Caribbean."
"Combining elements of The Tempest with gothic intrigue and charged, poignant romance, this is a sensuously involving second novel..... Teasing, erotic, suspenseful, and expertly done."
The Daily Mail
"This cleverly-written escapist novel looks set to turn Hickman into the next Philippa Gregory."
"Dreamy and rose-scented... reading (The Aviary Gate) is like speding a delightful couple of hours in the company of one of the Sultan's favourites."
The Literary Review
"Dear Reader, lie back on your ottoman and relax. Katie Hickman will take you to a magical land, the Topkapi harem in Istanbul in 1599. Here Celia Lamprey, a captured English lass with golden hair who has been snatched from her father's ship, languishes among the odalisques...... The intricate courts, alleys and secret staircases of the Topkapi are enticingly described and contribute to a plot full of headlong twists and turns..... The death last year of Lesley Blanch, who specialised in writing about women with exotic tastes in distant lands, left a sad gap int his particular genre. Hickman has leapt into the breach with panache with this box of Turkish delights. Enjoy!"
"Hickman has given us a Turkish delight of a novel that should win her legions of fans."