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Siege of Heaven (2007)

by Tom Harper

Series: Demetrios Askiates (3)

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1243167,706 (3.41)1
August, 1098. After countless battles and sieges, the surviving soldiers of the first crusade are at last within reach of their ultimate goal- Jerusalem. But rivalries fester and new enemies are massing against them in the Holy Land.Demetrios Askiates, the Emperor's spy, has had enough of the crusade's violence and hypocrisy. He longs to return home. But when a routine diplomatic mission leads to a deadly ambush, he realises he has been snared in the vast power struggles which underlie the crusade. The only way out now leads through the Holy City.From the plague-bound city of Antioch to the heart of Muslim Egypt, Demetrios must accompany the army of warlords and fanatics to the very gates of Jerusalem where the crusade climaxes in an apocalypse of pillage, bloodshed and slaughter.… (more)

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Pacy, entertaining historical thriller featuring Demetrios Askiates, a soldier diplomat in the service of the Eastern Emperor during the first Crusade. The Eastern Emperors continued to rule the eastern Roman Empire for nearly a millennium after the fall of Rome. It was the Eastern Emperor who, fearing eastern christianity would be overwhelmed by Muslim armies, fatefully asked Western christians for help, leading to the first Crusade. This is the first this in series I've read, and Demetrios, as a representative of the Eastern Emperor amongst the crusading army is caught up in a whirlwind of adventures, several of which stem from the politics and infighting in the Crusading armies. The real purpose of the Crusade also gets a look in occasionally though, as Demetrios also ends up on a diplomatic mission to the Turks and the novel culminates with the siege of Jerusalem. ( )
  YossarianXeno | Mar 31, 2012 |
I picked up “Siege of Heaven” by Tom Harper due to the fact that his other two books in this Byzantine series combined the majesty and effluence of an ancient Byzantium with that of sleuthing and aspects of noir. This protocol gave Mr. Harper’s stories an edge and depth of history not present in other authors’ stories. Unfortunately, “Siege of Heaven” lacked the sleuthing and mystery I’ve come to expect of Mr. Harper and I feel the novel suffered. “Siege of Heaven” felt more like a series of stories on the first crusade as opposed to a mystery with the Crusade as a significant backdrop. ( )
  BruderBane | Sep 11, 2010 |
Although not a patch on Mosaic of Shadows this, the third in the trilogy, is an interesting and occassionally exciting tale set during the First Crusade. Maps and city plans make it easy to envisage the Near East [the Holy Land] in the 11th century and Harper blends fact and fiction in a readable way. ( )
  adpaton | May 25, 2010 |
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August, 1098. After countless battles and sieges, the surviving soldiers of the first crusade are at last within reach of their ultimate goal- Jerusalem. But rivalries fester and new enemies are massing against them in the Holy Land.Demetrios Askiates, the Emperor's spy, has had enough of the crusade's violence and hypocrisy. He longs to return home. But when a routine diplomatic mission leads to a deadly ambush, he realises he has been snared in the vast power struggles which underlie the crusade. The only way out now leads through the Holy City.From the plague-bound city of Antioch to the heart of Muslim Egypt, Demetrios must accompany the army of warlords and fanatics to the very gates of Jerusalem where the crusade climaxes in an apocalypse of pillage, bloodshed and slaughter.

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