Can Raef survive the glories and intrigue of the Byzantine Empire and the High City of Constantinople?
Reaf finds himself in Constantinople at the turn of the first millennium, the early years of the reign of Basil II as the city is racked by civil war. Basil will become one of the most successful, and most feared, Byzantine Emperors. But for now, he rules as co-Emperor with his brother Constantine and makes war on a would-be-usurper, Bardas Phokas, son of a general who once claimed the throne for his own.
Basil’s most reliable troops are foreign mercenaries – the Varangian guard hired from the North – for the blood of the Romans has grown thin, and even his generals prefer intrigue to battle. Reaf and his fellow Rus and Norsemen, Viking raiders and wild horsemen from the steppes, fall upon the elegant city of Constantinople like wolves on a garden party. But when Reaf catches the eye of the Emperor’s wife, life becomes even more fraught with peril. And Raef’s stubborn pride in the face of a thousand years of imperial privilege will come near to bringing down the High City itself…
The High City, the fifth instalment of the Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife series, is perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell and David Gilman.
‘A potent blend of fantasy, history, and romance… a rousing, vivid tale rich with Nordic lore’ Publishers Weekly
‘If we ever get time travel, this is what it will be like… Until then, superb historical novelists like Cecelia Holland are the next best thing to a time machine’ SF Site
‘Cecelia Holland is one of the most respected historical novelists in the world, and this book is incredibly well written. The historical detail is very rich and well researched’ Harford County Library Reviews