Before Tales of Protection, I read My Name is Red by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. Another great book from an author who many people believe will be a Nobel laurate one day.
The book is set in the late 16th century in Istanbul and is a story where all the major players are miniaturists (artists who paint miniature style). The book is a murder mystery - one of the minaturists is killed in the first chapter of the book and the rest of the book tries to get the reader to identify who the murderer is - in its own unique style. The story is told in different people's (or things) viewpoint - with the chapter heading like "I am a corpse" or "I am a dog speaking" giving you an idea as to who's viewpoint it is.
The book is to miniature painiting what Dr Faustus (by Thomas Mann) is to western classical music. Through the story you are explained the various intricacies of the miniature painting, the idea of style or the lack of it and their hatred for western stylle painting (they call it Venetian style here) where people are potrayed as is!!!
Readers who enjoyed Name of the Rose (by Umberto Eco) will certainly dig this one. This is much better than the Name of the Rose.