I finally finished “The Fourth Queen”, which is the story of Helen (Aziza; her Moroccan name), who was kidnapped off of a ship headed to America, and taken to the King of Morocco’s Harem. The first night she is brought to him, she refuses to do anything sexual, and that’s exactly what he is after. He sends her away, and brings in another girl who is eager to please him. After being taught the art of “playing sex” by one of the other Queens (who is a large black woman), fattened up (because she is too skinny by Moroccan standards),
It is this fear of the Masculine in his women that accounts for your Moor’s partiality to portliness. Believe me, I am not referring to any ordinary plumpness here. No, Beauty in Barbary must ripple and judder. She must cascade like candle grease; wobble like a blanc-manger; quiver like oysters in aspic. There should be such a yielding softness about her, that make the most flaccid of homunculi seem hard by comparison.
Helen is finally presented to the Emperor again, and to her surprise, he takes her into his chamber, and she actually pleases him to the point that he cries out (which has never happened before). Thus starts her dangerous love affair, because once she is made Queen, all of a sudden, she is getting sicker and sicker by the day; losing weight, hair, and vomiting non-stop. No one can figure out the mysterious disease; all they know is the past few Queens have been getting it as well, and when they are not attractive anymore, the Emperor sends them away.
Only by reading this book will you find out what disease poor Helen has, if she dies or gets sent away, or if she gets better and goes back to her love, the Emperor. I liked how fast-paced the book was, switching between Helen talking and the dwarf Microphilus narrating (his love of Helen, and how it hurts to see her fall in love and marry the Emperor).
Now, I’m off to add links to the books in my book tab, and to start my other book, “A Journey to the Well”, which is about the first woman Jesus showed himself to at Jacob’s Well. I love books that take place back in those times.
*Edited to Add:
Check out the Books tab; I hyperlinked every book to go to a working website that describes the story. Let me know if you find one that doesn’t work!
Have a great day! :) Me? I’m off to either nap or read. Or both.