Byzantium 1054: The Seljuk Sultan prepares to fall on the Christian frontier …
Guy d’Agiles, penniless Frankish mercenary in Constantinople, enters a trap set for a Turkish spy by the wily Count Bryennius. Swept along by events, Guy is pressed into service with Bryennius’ regiment and journeys to the eastern Christian-Muslim frontier. There he encounters heroes, villains, traitors—and love—at the crossroads of the world where the future for a thousand years will be determined. An army of Seljuk Turks, after storming two Christian cities in as many weeks and laying waste to the countryside, coils around the ancient city of Manzikert, demanding submission and the surrender of its fairest daughter as a bride for the Sultan. The woman Guy loves begs him not to let the nomads have her …
A Dowry for the Sultan describes, through the story of a European mercenary who faced certain death attempting to save the city, the effect on ordinary people of extraordinary events. This wandering Frank’s adventure with its gallantry, romance and a fateful choice is set in one of the Middle East’s epochal period—the coming of the Turks to the land now named after them. The novel describes the tipping point of Byzantium and the everyday and strategic interaction of Turks, Kurds, Armenians, Arabs, Greeks, wandering Europeans and the emerging Rus civilisation based around KievTarget Audience.
This book will appeal to serious readers of history and historical fiction and should draw the attention of anyone interested in the Middle East generally, as a backgrounder to the current unravelling of the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement in which Britain and France divided the region into oil satrapies.
“… a perfectly splendid novel. The story simply rips along.” – John Julius Norwich
“You have produced a magnificent novel, with universal relevance. You have told a great story greatly.” – Paul A. Blaum
“This book is riveting. There’s pathos, there’s heroism, there’s the victory of good over evil, all the things that go into the making of a good book. And, to be fair, Lance Collins has a certain capacity for story-telling, and is a wordsmith of the highest order.” – Bishop Hilton Deakin
“It has the touch of a five act saga with the alarums, the entrances and exits, the build-up and semi anti-climax, the associations and the plotting and counter-plotting…The refugee camp and the charred ruins of Azen might have been observed in another place at another time …You handle the male female relationships with style and they become an all important element of the situation; the touching of stirrups and Leo’s plea to ‘say nothing’ are examples of very acute and timeless observations! Figures of the major players are drawn with a sureness of touch …” – John Collins – formerly of Jacaranda Press