The Owls of Afrasiab: The Secret Story of Constantinople 1453
The battle between Islam and Christianity precipitating the fall of Constantinople was an event that for ever changed the course of history. Breathtakingly rendering the internal struggle of the Byzantine capital under deadly constriction, and the occult high-stake political game surrounding it, The Owls of Afrasiab also tells the story of the dangerous passion uniting the Genoese commander leading the city’s defence with Hadije, one of the wives of the late Sultan Murad, determined to avenge herself for the murder of her baby boy ordered by the young and lethally ambitious Sultan Mehmet II. In the midst of the siege Hadije manages to get inside the city walls. The subsequent encounter with Commander Longo results in love at first sight and a conjuration of spirits dedicated to kill Mehmet before he takes the city. The plan, of course, turns out to be impracticable. The enemy is now not only outside the gates, but also actively conspiring from within. It seems an honest man and warrior can do nothing but stand by his word and sword until he falls. Meanwhile, a woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do… A dazzling drama enacted at a pivotal point in European history, when the luminous ideas of the Renaissance begin to gain ascendancy over medieval darkness. Churchmen still squabble over the use of prepositions in dogma, humanists look for answers to new questions in arcane sciences, while eager merchants of Italian republics seek ways to hold on to their dominions, rapidly dwindling under the mounting threat of an enemy growing more menacing by the minute: the Ottoman, Islamic Turk.
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