1098. The armies of the First Crusade race across Asia minor, routing the Turks and reclaiming the land for Christendom. But on the Syrian border, their advance is halted before the impregnable walls of Antioch.
As winter draws on, they are forced to suffer a fruitless, interminable siege, gnawed by famine and tormented by the Turkish defenders. The entire crusade is on the verge of collapse. His lord, the ruthlessly ambitious Bohemond charges Demetrios Askiates to find the killer. But as Demetrios investigates, the trail seems to lead ever deeper into the vipers' nest of jealousy, betrayal and fanaticism which lies at the heart of the crusade.
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'Gripping for its portrayal of the Crusader leaders ... this is a great example from a trustworthy historian' - Independent
'Tom Harper writes with strident clarity in this epic tale of murder and betrayal, bloodshed and romance. Gripping from the first page, the reader is swept up in this colourful and convincing portrayal of an Emperor and his realm, under siege. Well-researched, and cinematic in its imagery, this is a fast-paced and exciting debut.' Ink -
Ink'Tom Harper's speciality is a hitherto unvisited era in historical crime fiction- It's a world which Harper brings exuberantly to life, clearly revelling in its teeming, tumultuous extravagance.' Yorkshire Evening Post -
'Harper effortlessly draws the reader into the court intrigues and conspiracies of 11th-century Byzantium in his outstanding debut' Publishers' Weekly -
Excellent. Like Steven Saylor, the master of the ancient Roman historical Harper effortlessly draws the reader into an unfamiliar time, bringing alive the characters and their motivations - Publishers Weekly