A Lion’s Share is the second book in the Brotherhood of the Mamluks trilogy. The story is set in the 13th Century Middle East, during the Seventh Crusade. Told from the Egyptian perspective, it is a rare view of life among the Mamluks—elite Muslim warriors largely unheralded in the West—whose ranks ousted the Crusaders and Mongols from the Levant, preserving Islam.
On the eve of a historic battle, Leander, a disenchanted Crusader, surrenders to Muslim amirs with the intent of joining the revered Bahri Mamluks. His move seems fated. The young Frenchman avoids the mass slaughter suffered by the Christian alliance and earns himself a place with the elite cavalry regiment, serving the Sultan of Egypt. Yet once King Louis IX of France seeks vengeance and sets Cairo as the objective of his campaign, Leander is faced with warfare against his native people as he defends his new home, comrades, and religion.
When the Bahri’s adored sultan dies and Leander becomes tangled in forbidden love with an Egyptian woman, his world unravels further. As the Mamluks seize rule for themselves, a rivalry between opposing regiments turns bloody and the newly-formed Mamluk Sultanate tumbles into chaos, with Leander and his mates scrambling not only for position within the realigned empire, but also for their lives.
Graft, a former U.S. Marine Officer who served in Somalia, reveals the fascinating story of the Mamluks and the intriguing history of the Mamluk Sword, the saber worn by Marines as part of their traditional dress uniform. Based on exhaustive research that took the author to Mongolia and the Middle East, the book is filled with vivid cultural details, battle accounts, and authentic characters.