This book is Part One - the events of 1106-1108, in the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Land. Part Two (Approach the Throne) tells the story of the Palladium from the Holy Land to France, in the hands of four crusaders (and future Knights Templar), Godfrey, Hughes, Roland and Gondamer, against the background of the rise of France and Burgundy, the rebirth of trade at the Champagne fairs and the new monasticism of Bernard of Clairvaux.
Dirk Struan rose from humble beginnings to build Struan & Company, also known as the Noble House, into the world’s largest Far East trading company. He is now the Tai-Pan—Supreme Leader—of all Tai-Pans in China. Along the way, however, he made a powerful enemy. Tyler Brock, Struan’s rival from their early opium-smuggling days, also heads a large trading fleet, second in size only to Struan’s. But it is not only silks and spices that drive their mutual companies’ wealth—the opium trade is still booming. War between England and China might be over, but the hostilities remain. Struan and Brock come to control much of England’s trade with China yet neither can control their desires or their hatred of each other. Over the years, their two families will cross paths, threatening to rip both apart, with reverberations that will echo across the generations.
Struan must fight to save his company and his family, or risk seeing everything he has created destroyed at the hands of his sworn enemy. Ambition, political intrigue, and love and lust weave their way throughout the novel the New York Times called, “grand entertainment...packed with action...with blood and sin, treachery and conspiracy, sex and murder.” East and West come together in an opulent and intricately plotted narrative. A tour-de-force of historical fiction, rich in detail yet eminently readable, Tai-Pan will stay with you long after the final page.
Songs on Bronze is the first major retelling of Greek mythology in half a century; a set of lively, racy, dramatic versions of the great myths, which, in a multicultural society, are recognized more than ever as stories without equal.
Most of us would like to know the Greek myths better than we do, and books like Seamus Heaney's Beowulf have demonstrated the power of ancient texts to enchant and enthrall us. And yet the modern translations of the Greek myths have sought to instruct, to edify, or to impart a personal philosophy. Songs on Bronze is different. With this book, Nigel Spivey--a young Cambridge classicist and rising star as a documentary host--gives us the Greek myths as the spellbinding stories they are. In bold, sensuous prose, he tells of Demeter and Persephone, of Jason and the Argonauts, of the wrath of Achilles and the travels of Odysseus, of Oedipus's crime and Orpheus's excursion into the underworld. In his hands, these stories are revealed anew as outsize tales of love and strife, of secret compacts and open rivalries, of lust and desire.
Songs on Bronze is a fresh revision of the classics that is likely to become a classic in its own right.