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The Ottoman Cycle

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A quadrilogy of historical action & adventure thrillers set in the late 15th Century Mediterranean.

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Book 1 – THE THIEF’S TALE (Feb 2013)
Called by Parmenion Books ‘A tense exhilarating story, set against a backdrop of intrigue and corruption.’

Synopsis:Istanbul, 1481. The once great city of Constantine that now forms the heart of the Ottoman empire is a strange mix of Christian, Turk and Jew. Despite the benevolent reign of the Sultan Bayezid II, the conquest is still a recent memory, and emotions run high among the inhabitants, with danger never far beneath the surface.Skiouros and Lykaion, the sons of a Greek country farmer, are conscripted into the ranks of the famous Janissary guards and taken to Istanbul where they will play a pivotal, if unsung, role in the history of the new regime. As Skiouros escapes into the Greek quarter and vanishes among its streets to survive on his wits alone, Lykaion remains with the slave chain to fulfill his destiny and become an Islamic convert and a guard of the Imperial palace. Brothers they remain, though standing to either side of an unimaginable divide.On a fateful day in late autumn 1490, Skiouros picks the wrong pocket and begins to unravel a plot that reaches to the very highest peaks of Imperial power. He and his brother are about to be left with the most difficult decision faced by a conquered Greek: whether the rule of the Ottoman Sultan is worth saving.


Book 2 – THE PRIEST’S TALE (Aug 2013)

Called by Hoover Book Review ‘Descriptive and full of intrigue and surprises.’

Crete, 1492.After a sojourn of more than a year on the Venetian-controlled island, Skiouros has learned the art of the sword, the languages of both his peers and his enemies, and everything he believes he needs to know in order to begin his great quest: to seek the death of the one remaining conspirator in the plot responsible for his brother’s death. Circumstances collide, pushing the former thief to finally set forth on his journey, with the aid of his friends Parmenio and Nicolo.Meanwhile, far across the Mediterranean, a small fleet of Turkish galleys is engaged in a last desperate attempt to preserve Islamic influence in the Iberian Peninsula. While the great naval commander Kemal Reis battles to save a lost people, his subordinate burns to sack, destroy and murder every hint of Christian life in the west.When the caravel ‘Isabella’, replete with the three companions and a young Italian nobleman, crosses paths with the violent Ottoman would-be pirate, things turn sour and Skiouros finds himself driven ever further from his end goal, a series of calamities bringing him to face some harsh and unsettling personal truths. Skiouros is about to be tested to the limits of his endurance, with his very life at stake, for Hassan ‘the butcher’ prowls the seas…


Book 3 – THE ASSASSIN’S TALE (May 2014)

Called by Hoover Book Review ‘A truly exceptional tale that was well researched and well developed.’

Italy, 1493.

Returning from the new world to the old, Skiouros is confronted with lands ruled by a strict and unyielding religion, and which yet still contrive to be corrupt and debased, as the inquisition takes hold in Spain and the Vatican seethes under the rule of the Borgia family.Through this world of intolerance, greed and wickedness, the former thief-turned-explorer finally sets his mind to that mission that has underlain his every move since leaving the great city of Istanbul some two years earlier: the death of the usurper sultan, Cem.Gathering old friends and new, Skiouros travels the length of Italy in his quest for vengeance and the quieting of his brother’s restless soul. But on his dreadful quest he will face more than mere physical danger, for beneath all his strength and will, does Skiouros have a heart black enough to commit murder in the name of revenge?


Book 4 – THE PASHA’S TALE (April 2015)

Called by Parmenion Books ‘A really poetic ending.’

Five years have passed since Skiouros left Istanbul with his brother’s remains and a nebulous goal to make the usurper prince Cem pay for Lykaion’s death. Skiouros is older and wiser, and has come to understand the dreadful price that vengeance exacts from its wielders. Saved from the French authorities by Dragi, the Romani crewman of a Turkish galley, he and his friend Parmenio are bound once more for the east.But Dragi’s aid in desperate times comes with a price: the Romani await Skiouros’ return to the great city of Constantine, bringing about the conclusion of a series of events that has been building since those that first led to his flight five years ago.

In the Ottoman capital, the populace prepares for a great festival, and for the first time in many years the Sultan’s three sons are all present in the same place at the same time. And in the dangerous streets a sect of disenfranchised Romani plot a deadly coup to overthrow the Sultan and place one prince on the throne. Can Skiouros, Dragi, Parmenio and Diego thwart the mysterious Kingbreaker and save the lives of the Sultan’s sons? The sequence of events that shattered Skiouros’ life is coming to an end…

Written by SJAT

March 6, 2013 at 12:21 am

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