An epic chronicle of the rise and fall of Byzantium, of intrigue, love and war, and the clash of dynasties and religions that formed the modern world
'Fascinating historical mysteries and vivid colourful characters. One hell of a fine book' - CONN IGGULDEN
This special collection brings together the three books in the Rise of Empires Chronicles: The Walls of Byzantium, The Towers of Samarcand and The Lion of Mistra.
The Walls of Byzantium
In an age of clashing empires, dark forces from the east are endangering the first light of the western Renaissance. It is an age of ruthless rulers, divided churches, fractured dynasties and intrepid traders. It is an age of great cities like Venice and Constantinople; an age of conquerors like Tamerlane who will drown the world in blood; an age when only a hero of exceptional gifts can make a difference.
Luke Magoris is that hero. Born the son of one of the Varangian guards who had sworn to keep the secret relic safe, he will find himself committed to a long journey to discover - and try to avoid - his destiny. He will travel from battle to trading fortune, from horse dealing to captivity, and to the love of three very different women and the unrelenting enmity of two remarkable men.
The Towers of Samarcand
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.
Luke 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 Lion of Mistra
Rome never fell. The empire continued as Byzantium. This epic historical novel concerns one man's role in saving the empire.
The Ottoman Turks are at the gates of Constantinople and Luke Magoris, descended from princes of England, has to find a fortune to build defences for his beloved Mistra, the last glorious outpost of Imperial Rome, as well as saving the Emperor. He turns to China, to the Ming Empire, for trade and to Renaissance Italy for its rapidly developing banks. Both are entirely new roles for Luke and his Varangian brotherhood and many pitfalls befall him. And yet the Varangian treasure - which only he can uncover - may hold the key to all.
James Heneage is the founder of the Ottakars chain of bookshops and the co-founder of the Chalke Valley History Festival. He has been fascinated by history, in particular Byzantine history, since a child. He now lives part of the year in the Peloponnese, where he has written much of his fiction to date. Otherwise he lives near Salisbury with his wife and family.