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The Towers of Samarcand by James Heneage

The Towers of Samarcand

Part of the Rise of Empires Series
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

The middle volume in a huge Byzantium historical saga. It’s thrilling stuff with lots of human drama thrown in. Naturally you will appreciate it more if you’ve read the first and if not you will find some of this a bit muddling. It centres round the siege of Constantinople and follows Sultan Bayezid, his son and heir, Sulyman, his love Shulen and her love Luke. On the other side we have Tamerlane and his love Zoe. The book is large in size and scope and successfully mixes fact with the imagined relationships of the main characters. The early part of the book consists of short jumps across each character keeping you aware of the timeline, then the fun begins. I feel certain that you will find number three required reading next July.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. A sequel to The Walls of Byzantium, Heneage’s latest novel transports us to the year 1396 and the vast, unforgiving Anatolian plains where Chris-tianity and Islam meet head-on. The protagonist, Luke Magoris, sets out to reach the legendary city of Samarcand where resides Tamerlane, hero of the Mongols. As in Heneage’s earlier book, treasure is involved, but Magoris is forced to confront his conscience and decide whether his mission is an honourable one. The sense of time and place is perfectly captured and, though the book is a sequel, it can equally be read as a stand-alone story.
~ Carl Hughes


The Towers of Samarcand by James Heneage

A select band of soldiers led by Luke Magoris are given the mission of persuading Tamerlane to defend Constantinople. The great conqueror must turn his forces to the West to fight the Ottomans, who otherwise would destroy Constantinople and the Byzantine empire. Luke, torn away from the woman he loves and all he knows, is trained as a Mongol warrior to impress Tamerlane and his army before joining his fellow Varangian guards, descendants of the men who once brought a vital treasure out of Constantinople. It is this treasure, some say, that can still save the empire - uniting the Christian churches of the east and west in one final triumphant crusade to smite the Ottomans. No longer an innocent patriot, Luke is caught in the crossfire and begins to question if his mission is honourable - or whether those who sent him have the best interests of Byzantium at heart. The Towers of Samarcand is a powerful historical novel full of lively characters and enthralling scenes of battle, wealth, beliefs and trade in a part of the world torn by the clash of empires.

About the Author

James Heneage created the successful bookshop chain Ottakars and co-founded the Chalke Valley History Festival. Walls of Byzantium is his first novel. He lives near Salisbury.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th April 2015


James Heneage

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Heron Books an imprint of Quercus Publishing


528 pages


Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Historical fiction



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