Swooning….swooning….swooning!  Mahmud is holding Anna and we are ALL holding our breath for a kiss, and all I can think is “Anna, you’re in trouble girl!”  Not only with this handsome and charming devil of a Sultan (yes, I say devil with much love and affection), but with the green-eyed monster that’s awaiting you outside that door.

Anna comes to her senses and heads back to her room (so sad for the masses of ladies waiting on bated-breath for that kiss) but the path in the palace is never easy for Anna because there’s always something/someone waiting for her.  You have Amber Aga, who wants to hear every detail, hoping that SOMETHING is happening between Anna and the Sultan.  You have the Harem that doesn’t like this newcomer.  She has not only taken  up a special place with the Sultan every night, but the Sultan has now given her a private room.  Then last, but certainly not least, you have Hosyar, who is on a mission to get Anna kicked out of the palace (if this is the last thing she does).  Hosyar pounces on Anna the minute she comes out of the chamber just to makes sure Anna knows her place, and that her stay at the palace will be short. Anna is outraged and continues to her room to vent to Ayperi. Hosyar isn’t taking chances though, so she’s enlisted the help of the Sultan’s daughter, an elder teacher on the council, and others to play in her games.  One minute I’m swooning, the next she has me cursing!!

Then we have the harem.  A pack of sweet girls, right? A pit of vipers in training is what we might have to name this group of girls (the jury is out on that one).  The harem, aka little vipers, are not happy with all this time Anna is spending with the Sultan, and also with the fact that she’s too good to be with them, but they aren’t quite as cunning as Hosyar.  They finally find a chance to prank Anna but their prank backfires and brings Anna and the Sultan closer, which not only foils their plot but upsets Hosyer even more.  Stay tuned to see if they learn their lesson, or they learn better tricks.

Esma…..oh Esma!  Why does there always have to be an evil, or conniving, sibling?  Well, this story is no different.  We have Esma (the Sultan’s sister) who is very smart but a damaged soul.  She is out for revenge for the death of her brother Mustafa, which she is blaming her brother Mahmud for, and wants him dethroned. She’s still in love with Mahmud’s best friend Namik, who happens to be his Privy Council now and the one man who hurt her in the past.  We don’t see anything going wrong with that little obsession, do we? Anyway, I will also throw out there the  secret admirer Esma has, that she’s using on the Sultan’s council, as well as being forced to team up with Anna’s slimy uncle.  Pitfalls….I see pitfalls all around.  Don’t mix love, war and snakes….it’s not a good combo Esma.

Side note: The Sultan’s niece, Gulfidan, also has a crush on Namik, so that is another little slippery slope that will be dealt with at some point and time (by who, remains to be seen).

On to Mahmud, our beloved, charming Sultan.  He becomes more charming and loved by the minute (except for the end, which I’m too angry about to discuss).  Neyse, the people love him and he comes to their rescue once again with the plotting and scheming Janissaries (who are now at the beck and call of Esma).  He goes against tradition to keep Anna at the palace, fighting against everyone to keep her on as teacher. Then, to top it all off, he catches an ill and fainting Anna and won’t let anyone take her away from his space and care……but….and this is a BIG BUT…..Anna almost gives up her secret while unconscious in the Sultan’s chambers.  Never fear, our girl recovers and covers up her slip-up.  Let’s see how long she can keep this secret from our smart leader once she falls in love.  I might just be guessing but how can she not fall in love?

My favorite scene: when Anna is out on the balcony with Ayperi (her odalisque helper) and she is watching the Sultan and Namik come out of the palace to go to Friday prayers. This is immediately after the Sultan had defended her to the elder teacher Hayrettin.  So as she’s leaning over to see them, she leans over too far and her hat falls off her head and lands on teacher Hayrettin.  Of course everyone is amused except the teacher. Whoops!

The ending….well, you will have to watch to see but I’m a little salty that we have a scenario of “ye of little faith”.  I just hope that Mahmud learns really fast in episode 3 who the real culprits are….or at least who it wasn’t.

Once again, I can’t wait until Wednesday to see what happens!!!  So please come and join us in the romance, intrigue and fun of Kalbamin Sultani.

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Written By – Dawn Meyer


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