Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Lake Louise, Canada
Copenhagen, Denmark
Loch Ness, Scotland
  • Location: London, Morocco, Meknes

The Sultan’s Wife

The Sultan’s Wife

Why a Booktrail?

1677: A story of a court scribe and a girl from the harem who have to survive the ancient Moroccan court.

  • ISBN: 978-0141040240
  • Genre: Fiction, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

Tyrannical King Ismail rules from his palace of Meknes. Nus Nus, slave to the King and court scribe, is sent to the apothecary. There he discovers the bloody corpse of the herb man, and becomes entangled in a plot to frame him for the murder.

Meanwhile, young, fair Alys Swann is captured during her crossing to England, where she is due to be wed. Sold into Ismail’s harem, she is forced to choose: renounce her faith or die.

Alys and Nus Nus stories combine and together they have to try and survive the horrifying ordeals of the Moroccan court.

Travel Guide


Nus-Nus and Alys are fictional characters but Moulay Ismail, the Sultan, was a real person. He was known as ‘the bloodthirsty’ for his cruel way of ruling and controlling

The characters are terrorised as must have been th case in real life – he rules absolutely and so fear stalks the corridors and courtyards of the palace. His wife Zidana is also a tyrant whose penchant for poison is a well-kept secret.


Sultan Moulay Ismail, Emperor of Morocco has declared he will construct a place to dwarf Versailles and he is planning the walls to extend from Meknes as far as Marrakech

The city is known for its imperial past, with remnants including Bab Mansour, a huge gate with arches and mosaic tiling. This then leads into the former imperial city. Sultan Moulay Ismail, who made the city his capital in the 17th century, has courtyards and fountains in the The Mausoleum

The Harem

The harem is in all ways a forbidden place, its name deriving from the word for the word for forbidden, which is haram.


Nus-Nus can speak and write in English  which is unusal for the time as he has spent many years travelling with a European doctor before being taken into slavery at the palace

This is the city of royal intrigue, Charles I and Samuel Pepys.

Streetview Maps

A) Morocco - Bab Mansour
B) Morocco - Royal Stables

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Sultan’s Wife

Author/Guide Jane Johnson  Destination: London, Morocco, Meknes  Departure Time: 1677

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