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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
In 1098, the surviving feel their sacrifices were worth it as the Crusaders see the end in sight with the conquest of Jerusalem coming soon. However while some remain wary and weary from all the bloodshed, the leaders of the various Christian armies show their true colors of pride and vainglory as each competes with one other to be the first inside the holy city.------------- Greek Demetrious Askiates is tired of the destruction, deaths, and atrocities like the spread of the plague in Antioch he has witnessed from both sides of the religious war. He wants to go home to Constantinople, but remains committed to serving the Byzantine emperor even when he is disappointed with being sent to Egypt to negotiate with the Fatimids to obtain their support against the Turks.------------- The final entry in Tom Harper¿s excellent First Crusade trilogy (see THE MOSAIC OF SHADOWS and KNIGHTS OF THE CROSS) is an incredible eleventh century thriller as the star Demetrious is not solving a murder, but instead trying to keep from being killed. His trek from the Holy Land into Egypt brings the period of the First crusade vividly alive to his grateful audience as few if any novels in recent memory have.----------- Harriet Klausner