You may use the form on the right to contact Deak.


Alameda, CA

Deak Wooten's first novel was 2011's Eyes of the Stag: A story of betrayal, consequence, and redemption. His second novel, Calaf and Ishmael: A Tale of Turandot, will be published in 2015. In 2008 he edited and published a collection of short stories by Eleanor Frothingham Haworth, missionary and educator in 19th century Japan. A collector of vintage photographs, he published Best Friend: Men and Boys and Their Canine Companions (2009) and three volumes of his collection. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his husband Paul and their devoted beagle Rambo.

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Calaf and Ishmael

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Calaf and Ishmael

A Tale of Turandot


Calaf and Ishmael are two friends thrust into a world of clashing empires in 3rd century CE Rome and Persia. Growing up in the court of the brutal Kushan emperor Timur, Calaf is Timur’s son and heir, and Ishmael is the son of Timur's scribe. They are inseparable, with ties of love and devotion that stretch back to births days apart and shrouded in mystery.

When Calaf nearly dies saving Ishmael, his father is furious that the prince would risk his life for a servant, and does all that he can to separate the friends. The fall of Timur’s empire flings the two young men across the ancient world, and they must struggle against deceit, betrayal, and cruelty to find each other again.

After enduring years of separation and adversity, they reunite and face one last trial in the court of the merciless Princess Turandot. Calaf must choose. Reclaim his father's throne or condemn Ishmael to certain death.

This historical tale, inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot, affirms that great loss can only be redeemed by love willing to sacrifice all. 

This story will interest readers who love the intense historical drama of this period as it is portrayed in the Warrior of Rome novels of Harry Sidebottom, and the kind of inventive, boundary-pushing re-imagination of classic tales found in Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles and Mary Renault's The Persian Boy

With a deep cast of characters and carefully crafted plot set in a vivid and unforgiving world, Calaf and Ishmael is a tragic love story that will appeal to readers who look to historical fiction to reflect times and places as vibrant and challenging as our own.


Available in print and digital formats

Available in print and digital formats