I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction.
My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age. You can read a little more about me and my background here.
The Roman Empire is crumbling, and a shadow looms in the east . . .
In the 4th Century AD, countless barbarian tribes surge against the Eastern Roman Empire's borders, driven by a dark horde that has arrived from the great steppe. On the Danubian frontier, the situation is critical: the crumbling, neglected forts and watchtowers along the riverbank are thinly garrisoned by 'mere' limitanei - the impoverished border legions. Pavo, a slave freed and sent to serve with the XI Claudia in this precarious land, finds himself thrust into a tumultuous sequence of events that will shape his destiny and the fate of the Empire.
When the falcon has flown, the mountain lion will charge from the east, and all Byzantium will quake. Only one man can save the empire . . . the Haga!
In the 11th century AD, the ailing Byzantine Empire teeters on the brink of full-blown war with the Seljuk Sultanate. In the borderlands of Eastern Anatolia, a land riven with bloodshed and doubt, a dark hero rises from the ashes of the conflict. His journey will be a savage one, taking him from the snakepit of Constantinople to the blistering heart of the Seljuk realm . . . all the time leading him towards the fabled plains of Manzikert.
Four sons. One throne. A world on the precipice...
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.
Stay strong, Haga, for the Golden Heart will rise in the west. At dawn, he will wear the guise of a lion hunter. At noon, he will march to the east as if to conquer the sun itself. At dusk, you will stand with him in the final battle, like an island in the storm . . .