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Buy 2 get 1 FREE. Terms & Conditions Apply. Published by Arrow Books in 2004 average condition. Consigned item sold "As Is/ Where Is" with no guarantees, warranties, refunds or exchanges. Not for the fussy. bookmemorylane Byzantium, 1096. A mysterious assassin releases an arrow aimed at the emperor---but he has more than just a man in his sights. A keystone of a crumbling empire, the emperor is the solitary figure holding all the enemies in check. And if he falls, the mightiest power in Christendom will be torn apart. Demetrios Askiates, unveiler of mysteries, is hired to catch the would-be-killer. But he is entering an unknown world; a babbling cauldron of princes, slaves, mercenaries, pimps, and eunuchs. Not all enemies are within the city walls, however, and with the Turks running rampant across Asia, the emperor has sent to the west for mercenaries to reinforce his position. When a great army, tens of thousands strong, appears before the city gates---the emperor gets more than he bargained for. From the depths of the slums to the golden towers of the city palace; from the sands of the hippodrome to the soaring domes of Ayia Sophia; Demetrios must edge his way through a glittering maze of treachery and deceit before time runs out. Intent on making their fortunes in war, and with no allegiance to this empire, the first crusaders have arrived with eyes full of jealousy and suspicion. As the armies of the east and west confront each other, and with the assassin creeping ever closer to his prey, Demetrios must untangle this golden web of intrigue that surrounds the emperor---before the city, and the empire, are drowned in blood. "His portrayal of the Byzantine city and the intrigues that threaten its destruction is vivid and convincing." ---The Sunday Times (UK) "It's a world that Harper brings exuberantly to life, clearly revelling in its teeming, tumultuous extravagance. But he also has a sharp eye for an intriguing mystery." ---Yorkshire Post (UK) "Tom Harper writes with strident clarity in this epic tale of murder and betrayal, bloodshed and romance. Gripping from the first page, the reader is swept up.... Well researched and cinematic in its imagery, this is a fast-paced and exciting debut." ---INK (UK) "A gripping tale...I look forward to Demetrios's further adventures." ---Elizabeth Hawksley, Historical Novels Review "A lively adventure.... The imperial palace, with all its splendor and intrigue, is brought vividly to life." ---Good Book Review (UK) "An engaging romp---Byzantine not only in time and location but the ins and outs of the plot." ---The Advertiser (Australia) Editorial Reviews From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. British author Harper effortlessly draws the reader into the court intrigues and conspiracies of 11th-century Byzantium in his outstanding debut. Former bounty hunter and bodyguard Demetrios the Apokalyptor (who will remind many of Steven Saylor's ancient Roman sleuth, Gordianus the Finder) is summoned to Emperor Alexios's palace after a mysterious assassin narrowly misses killing the ruler with an arrowlike weapon that managed to pierce a guard's armor. The emperor's chamberlain, Krysaphios, hires Demetrios to identify the murderer, as well as the forces behind him. The quest is imbued with greater urgency as the residents of the empire's capital nervously anticipate the arrival of a large barbarian army, ostensible allies who may be connected with the attempted regicide. Nicely balancing action and deduction, Harper creates both a credible hero and supporting characters. While the final plot twist is plausible, there may not be enough shock value for veteran whodunit readers. But fans of well-written, meticulously researched historicals should embrace this promising new talent. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Booklist The title's shadowy mosaic is an apt metaphor for the myriad puzzle pieces Demetrios Askiates must fit together to capture a would-be assassin and prevent a disastrous war in this historical thriller set in eleventh-century Constantinople. When a sniper attempts to fell Emperor Alexios, the court eunuch, Krysaphios, engages Askiates' sleuthing talents to uncover the twisted plot that would unseat a king and unsettle the eastern Roman Empire with an ensuing power shift. As he tackles the long list of those who would benefit from the emperor's demise, Demetrios must also skirt the overzealous and interfering Varangians and test his newfound diplomatic skills with an army of Crusaders camped outside the city walls. In this series opener, the scene is set with exquisite detail--royal palaces dripping with gold and jewels, mincing courtiers vying for power, back alleys paved in poverty and the harsh realities of Byzantine life. Harper introduces likable characters whose humorous foibles keep the story alive, and he hints at future romance and intrigue--all of which bodes well for Demetrios' career as a series sleuth. Jennifer Baker Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved About the Author TOM HARPER is twenty-six. He studied medieval history at Oxford University and now lives in London. 5.0 out of 5 starsThe Mosaic of Shadows is an excellent read. It is well worth your time & effort. ByJihada A Gilcreaseon June 14, 2015 Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase I believe that Tom Harper is an excellent author. His plots and character hold your interest from page 1 to the last page. I enjoyed his descriptive passages and felt I could visionalise the scenes as the characters could. Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse 5.0 out of 5 starsStong and Fast Paced ByB. Tillman Hallon May 8, 2014 Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase Excellent read regarding that period of history. Very little is know regarding the Eastern Roman Empire and it tedious relationship with Western Europe. Mr. Harper wove an intriguing tale of the stroke and counterstroke that was life at court. Well worth purchasing. Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse 5.0 out of 5 starsBook ByRichard A. Hermanon March 10, 2011 Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase I ordered Mosaic of Shadows, to be shipped from England, and it was delivered promptly, in great shape, and all is well! Although the book is not exactly what I expected, it is still a good one. I was seeking to learn more about the Crusades, and this book is about a detective of sorts during the crusades.

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