About the Book:
Gregoras had vowed never to return to Constantinople, the cursed home that had betrayed and scarred not only 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.
About the Author:
Chris (C.C.) Humphreys was born in Toronto and grew up in the UK. All four grandparents were actors and since his father was an actor as well, it was inevitable he would follow the bloodline. He has acted all over the world and appeared on stages ranging from London’s West End to Hollywood’s Twentieth Century Fox. Favorite roles have included Hamlet, Caleb the Gladiator in NBC’s Biblical-Roman epic mini-series, ‘AD - Anno Domini’ and Jack Absolute in Sheridan’s ‘The Rivals’.
Chris has written seven historical 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 been translated into Russian, Italian, German, Greek and Czech. (from the author's website)
The battle for Constantinople is one of history's defining moments; the "Rome of the East" falls to "the Turk" and one of the most glorious cathedrals ever built, the Hagia Sophia was looted and turned to a Mosque. So began the reign of the Ottoman Empire over what is now called Istanbul. Mehmet II was a young sultan of 21 when he did what none of his ancestors had been able to do before him - breach the walls of Constantinople and call himself "fatih" or conqueror.
This novel, though is a tale of both sides of the conquest; Christian and Muslim and Mr. Humphreys tells both sides well. There is a greater concentration on inside the walls as his hero is Gregoras, a man falsely accused of betrayal. His twin brother Theon, always jealous, always a feeling a bit inadequate next to Gregoras was there to save him from losing more than his nose (yes, you read that correctly) but there is far more to this story of twins and it develops over the course of the book.
The book is very well researched and this battle is legendary in history. Mr. Humphreys tries to fit in as many of the unique occurrences as possible and as they say, truth is stranger than fiction. The story moves along at a roaring clip and being one who loves a meaty historical tale I was enthralled from beginning to end. Obviously it being a book of war it is not a pretty book but the gore and violence are kept tamped down compared to other books I have read in the genre.
The main characters, both fictional and historical are well drawn and you feel drawn into their world. Even knowing the outcome of the battle I kept feeling as if it might change as I turned the pages. And I was turning them very quickly. Mr. Humphrey had a way of getting inside the heads of his characters so the reader was there too. His descriptions allowed for a true feeling of place which was good - until the battles started and then I was right in the middle of it. I didn't want to be there but I had Gregoras with me and he was a good man to lead the way through a fight.
A bit more of sultan Mehmet's story is part of Mr. Humphrey's book Vlad: The Last Confession which I reviewed last year (HERE).
You can purchase A Place Called Armageddon at Sourcebooks
You can purchase A Place Called Armageddon for Kindle
Disclosure: I received a copy of A Place Called Armageddon from Sourcebooks gratis. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.