376 AD: the Eastern Roman Empire is alone against the tide of barbarians swelling on her borders. Emperor Valens juggles the paltry border defences to stave off invasion from the Goths north of the Danube. Meanwhile, in Constantinople, a pact between faith and politics spawns a lethal plot that will bring the dark and massive hordes from the east crashing down on these struggling borders.
The fates conspire to see Numerius Vitellius Pavo, enslaved as a boy after the death of his legionary father, thrust into the limitanei, the border legions, just before they are sent to recapture the long-lost eastern Kingdom of Bosporus. He is cast into the jaws of this plot, so twisted that the survival of the entire Roman world hangs in the balance…
The great struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Gothic Horde rumbles into its fifth year. It seems that there can be no end to the conflict, for although the Goths are masters of the land, they cannot topple the last of the imperial cities. But heralds bring news that might change it all: Emperor Gratian readies to lead his Western legions into the fray, to turn matters on their head, to crush the horde and save the East!
The men of the XI Claudia legion long for their homeland’s salvation, but Tribunus Pavo knows these hopes drip with danger. For he and his soldiers are Gratian’s quarry as much as any Goth. The road ahead will be fraught with broken oaths, enemy blades... and tides of blood.
Deep winter, 376 AD: Emperor Valens has withdrawn the field armies from Moesia and Thracia to fight in the Persian War. The impoverished limitanei legions left behind to defend the banks of the River Danubius are now all that stand between the war-hungry Goths and heart of the Eastern Roman Empire.
For Numerius Vitellius Pavo and the men of the XI Claudia, the brief from Emperor Valens is simple: to avoid war with the Goths at all costs while the Roman defences are so weak. But in the frozen lands north of the Danubius a dark legend, thought long dead, has risen again. The name is on the lips of every warrior in Gutthiuda; the one who will unite the tribes, the one whose armies will march upon the empire, the one who will bathe in Roman blood . . .
With the ashes of Adrianople still swirling in the air, the Eastern Roman Empire is in turmoil. The emperor is dead, the throne lies empty and the remaining fragments of the army are few and scattered.
Numerius Vitellius Pavo, now Tribunus of the XI Claudia, tries to hold his patchwork ranks together amidst the storm. One of the few legions to have survived the disaster at Adrianople, the Claudia do what they can to keep alive the dying flame of hope. When word spreads of a new Eastern Emperor, those hopes rise. But the coming of this leader will stir the Gothic War to new heights. And it will cast Pavo headlong into the sights of the one responsible for the East’s plight – a man mighty and seemingly untouchable, and one who will surely crush any who dares to challenge him.
From the ashes of Adrianople, new heroes will rise… with dark ghosts in close pursuit.
1046 AD. The Byzantine Empire teeters on full-blown war with the Seljuk Sultanate. In the borderlands of Eastern Anatolia, a land riven with bloodshed and doubt, young Apion's life is shattered in one swift and brutal Seljuk night raid. Only the benevolence of Mansur, a Seljuk farmer, offers him a second chance of happiness. Yet a hunger for revenge burns in Apion's soul, and he is drawn down a dark path that leads him right into the heart of a conflict that will echo through the ages.
1315 BC: Tensions soar between the great powers of the Late Bronze Age. The Hittites stand toe-to-toe with Egypt, Assyria and Mycenaean Ahhiyawa, and war seems inevitable. More, the fierce Kaskan tribes – age-old enemies of the Hittites – amass at the northern borders.
When Prince Hattu is born, it should be a rare joyous moment for all the Hittite people. But when the Goddess Ishtar comes to King Mursili in a dream, she warns that the boy is no blessing, telling of a dark future where he will stain Mursili’s throne with blood and bring destruction upon the world.
Thus, Hattu endures a solitary boyhood in the shadow of his siblings, spurned by his father and shunned by the Hittite people. But when the Kaskans invade, Hattu is drawn into the fray. It is a savage journey in which he strives to show his worth and valour. Yet with his every step, the shadow of Ishtar’s prophecy darkens…
Praise for Empires of Bronze: Son of Ishtar:
"A meticulously researched and vivid reimagining of an almost forgotten civilisation" - Douglas Jackson, bestselling author of the celebrated Gaius Valerius Verrens series
"Vivid, immersive...wondrous!" - SJA Turney, bestselling author of Marius' Mules and The Damned Emperors.
"An action-packed epic" - Matthew Harffy, bestselling author of the acclaimed Bernicia Chronicles.
About the Hittites & the Bronze Age:
Over three thousand years ago, before iron had been tamed, before Rome had risen, before the ashes from which Classical Greece would emerge had even been scattered, the world was forged in bronze. It was an age when Great Kings ruled, when vast armies clashed for glory, riches and the favour of their strange gods.
Until the late 19th century, historians thought that they had identified the major powers who held sway in the last stretch of the Bronze Age: Egypt, Assyria… Ahhiyawa (Homer’s Achaean Greece) even. But there was another – a fourth great power, all but lost to the dust of history: the Hittites.
Hardy, fierce masters of Anatolia, utterly devout to their myriad gods, the scale and wonder of their world is only now shedding its dusty cloak thanks to the tireless work of archaeologists. The Hittites ruled from the high, rugged plateau at the heart of modern-day Turkey, commanding a ring of vassal states (most notably Troy) and boasting a dauntless army that struck fear into the hearts of their rivals. Their Great King, titled Labarna and revered as the Sun itself, was every bit the equal of Egypt’s Pharaoh, of the trade-rich King of Assyria, and of the brash lords of Ahhiyawa.
The Hittites were there when the Bronze Age collapsed. They bore the brunt of the cataclysmic events that destroyed the great powers, threw the Near East into a centuries-long dark age and changed the world forever.
This is their story…
1068 AD: the armies of the Seljuk Sultanate tear at Byzantium's borders, poised to strike the death blow that will bring all Anatolia under their yoke. Alp Arslan's armies grow stronger with every passing season, while the beleaguered Byzantine soldiers defend for their lives, the hope in their hearts guttering its last.
This war has been Apion's mistress for many years, casting a dark shadow across his soul. When the mysterious crone comes to him, she can offer him only a glimmer of light. But at the darkest of moments, the smallest chink of light can be blinding. It will sweep Apion into the heart of the empire, Constantinople, and then onto the arid plains of Syria. It will taunt him with trust, betrayal, intrigue, love and brutal conflict. But, above all, it will offer him hope.
Kasandra, potomkini rodu potężnego króla Leonidasa, przez dwadzieścia lat usiłowała zapomnieć o upokorzeniu: jej ojciec Nikolaos strącił ją w przepaść po tym, jak próbując ratować brata, przeciwstawiła się woli bogów. Gdy cudem przeżyła, musiała uciekać ze Sparty.
Na spokojnej nadmorskiej prowincji, którą Kasandra – obecnie najemniczka – uczyniła swoim domem, pojawia się tajemniczy przybysz. Obiecuje jej niewyobrażalne bogactwa, które na zawsze mają odmienić jej życie. Żeby je zdobyć, Kasandra musi wyprawić się przez Morze Śródziemne i rzucić w wir wojny, która rozgorzała między Atenami a Spartą. Jej zadaniem będzie zgładzenie Wilka, jak nazywają Nikolaosa ze Sparty – jej ojca, któremu nigdy nie wybaczyła…
Powieść na motywach bestsellerowej serii gier firmy Ubisoft – Assassin’s Creed.