- Constantinople 1453 -


                        (Moon over the Hagia Sophia. For more photos click HERE)

To the Greeks who love it, it is Constantinople. To the Turks who covet it, the Red Apple. Safe behind its magnificent walls, the city was once the heart of the vast Byzantine empire.

1453. The empire has shrunk to what lies within those now-crumbling walls. A relic. Yet for one man, Constantinople is the stepping stone to destiny. Mehmet is twenty when he is annointed Sultan. Now, seeking Allah’s will and Man’s glory, he brings an army of one hundred thousand, outnumbering the defenders ten to one. He has also brings something new – the most frightening weapon the world has ever seen...

But a city is more than stone, its fate inseparable from that of its people. Men like Gregoras, a mercenary and exile, returning to the hated place he once loved. Like his twin and betrayer, the subtle diplomat, Theon. Like Sofia, loved by two brothers but forced to make a desperate choice between them. And Leilah, a powerful mystic and assassin, seeking her own destiny in the flames.

This is the tale of one of history’s greatest battles for one of the world’s most extraordinary places. This is the story of people, from peasant to emperor - with the city’s fate, and theirs, undecided... until the moment the Red Apple falls.

Hot off the press review... and possibly the best:

‘Just for history and the plot alone, this book is worth reading.

But if you read the book just for history and plot, you would be missing something – perhaps the best thing about the book. There are good books with hum-drum words and adequate stories. This book is written with prose. Every scene is crafted with an eye for pace, a feel for flow and an ear for rhythm, as if the stage actor in Chris was reading every word on a stage in one of London’s West End Theatres (where he once performed). The words are mesmerizing and beautiful and hand-crafted to be perfect in every syllable.’ Joe Beernink

Also, a lovely review from the very talented (and obviously perceptive!) Manda Scott on ‘Good Reads’.

“Gregoras is the archetypal wounded hero and he comes across as flawed, dangerous and immensely likeable, surrounded by a full, deep supporting cast which is one of this book's great strengths: nobody is a cipher, no character fails to engage early and completely. In a world where historical novels are so often full of twentyfirst characters in drag, and even those are two dimensional, this book is so full of three-d, real people, it's impossible not to want both sides to win. In the end, only one can, and it's heart-breaking, tho' I suspect it would have been just as bad had it gone the other way.

From a writing perspective, what's so interesting about CC Humphreys' style is that he switches viewpoint mid-scene on a regular basis. Few people attempt this and even fewer succeed in doing it smoothly. Humphreys does it with style and panache and it gives an interesting insight into some of the trickier encounters. It's not something I'd imagine doing, but I'm impressed with it here...”

And this from the Times Colonist:

‘Saltspring Island author C.C. Humphreys returns to the battlegrounds of history with A Place Called Armageddon, a difficult-toput-down tale of the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Told in alternating chapters from each side's point of view, A Place Called Armageddon is more serious in tone than Humphreys' Jack Absolute novels, but any lack of humour is more than made up for in thrilling battle sequences and welldefined, memorable characters.’

You can read the full review here:


“The events that Humphreys brings to us here still resonate down to our own times. This is fine fiction, excellent history and finally, just supremely entertaining reading.” -Allan Eastman, Amazon.co.uk

“It is the Siege of 1453 of Constantinople, and as usual Chris Humphreys writes so well on the epic scale, but when doing so always manages to keep the emotional attachment and the sense of being part of the events. As a reader you don't feel like a voyeur you feel like a participant in events and its that distinction that makes his writing so much of a triumph. As a part of the story you then do care about the characters, you do care who lives who dies, who wins who loses and the whole sweeping story of events just sweeps you along, especially the action scenes which as usual leave you breathless with the speed power and ferocity of the writing and the emotions felt by each and every character. I don't know if it will be my book of the year this year... but it's a contender.” ‘A Customer’ - Amazon.co.uk -