Publish Date: September 4, 2012
Order From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Sourcebooks
Synopsis: Gregoras had vowed never to return to Constantinople, the cursed home that had betrayed and scarred not only in his mind, but his face for all to see. But now with 100,000 Muslim soldiers outside its walls, he can hear its desperate calls for his help, as it can only be held by men and mercenaries as skilled in battle as Gregoras, of which few remain. His return home, though, will mean not only having to face the constant hum of arrow and cannon, but also Theon, twin brother…and betrayer. And with him his beloved Sofia, lost when Gregoras was cast from his home, now bound to Theon in marriage. But the rewards of victory would not only be the glories of the battle, but the redemption of his name and his soul.
– prologus –
6 April 1453
We are coming, Greek.
Climb your highest tower, along those magnificent walls. They have kept you safe for a thousand years. Resisted every one of our attacks. Before them, where your fields and vineyards once stood, are trenches and emplacements. Empty, for now. Do you expect them to be filled with another doomed army of Islam, like all the martyrs that came and failed here before?
No. For we are different this time. There are more of us, yes. But there is something else. We have brought something else.
Close your eyes. You will hear us before you see us. We always arrive with a fanfare. We are people who like a noise. And that deep thumping, the one that starts from beyond the ridge and runs over our trenches, through the ghosts of your vineyards, rising through stone to tickle your feet? That is a drum, a kos drum, a giant belly to the giant man who beats it. There is another…no, not just one. Not fifty. More. These come with the shriek of the pipe, the seven-note sevre, seven to each drum. The mehter bands come marching over the ridge line, sunlight sparkling on instruments inlaid with silver, off swaying brocade tassels. You blink, and then you wonder: there are thousands of them. Thousands. And these do not even carry weapons.
Those with weapons come next.
Author Bio: Chris (C.C.) Humphreys was born in Toronto, lived till he was seven in Los Angeles, then grew up in the UK. As C.C. Humphreys, Chris has written seven historical fiction novels. The first, ‘The French Executioner’ told the tale of the man who killed Anne Boleyn and was runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers 2002. Its sequel, ‘Blood Ties’, was a bestseller in Canada. Having played Jack Absolute, he stole the character and has written three books on this ‘007 of the 1770’s’ - ‘Jack Absolute’, ‘The Blooding of Jack Absolute’ and ‘Absolute Honour’- short listed for the 2007 Evergreen Prize by the Ontario Library Association. All have been published in the UK, Canada, the US and translated into Russian, Italian, German, Greek and Czech.