The Books

Book One: The Walls of Byzantium

The Walls of ByzantiumThe Walls of Byzantium will be the first book of The Mistra Chronicles series. The series will tell the story of the last seven decades of the Byzantine Empire, up to its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1460. It will begin and end in the little Despotate (Kingdom) of Mistra which, with Constantinople, was all that was left of the 2,000-year Roman Empire by the end of the 14th century. It is a tale of two cities in the Despotate, Monemvasia and Mistra, and three families whose destinies were to become entwined with the fate of Byzantium. It is a story of five clashing empires (the Byzantine, Ottoman, Timurid, Venetian and Ming) and two renaissances, those in Italy and Ming China. It was a time of heroes and giants and monsters, a time of fantasy when truth was stranger than fiction. And it’s all true.

Publication Date: 4th July 2013

Listen to the prologue:

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Book Two: The Towers of Samarcand

The Towers of SamarcandA select band of soldiers led by Luke Magoris are given the mission of persuading Tamerlane to defend Constantinople. The great conqueror must turn his forces to the West to fight the Ottomans, who otherwise would destroy Constantinople and the Byzantine empire. Luke, torn away from the woman he loves and all he knows, is trained as a Mongol warrior to impress Tamerlane and his army before joining his fellow Varangian guards, descendants of the men who once brought a vital treasure out of Constantinople. It is this treasure, some say, that can still save the empire – uniting the Christian churches of the east and west in one final triumphant crusade to smite the Ottomans.

No longer an innocent patriot, Luke is caught in the crossfire and begins to question if his mission is honourable – or whether those who sent him have the best interests of Byzantium at heart. The Towers of Samarcand is a powerful historical novel full of lively characters and enthralling scenes of battle, wealth, beliefs and trade in a part of the world torn by the clash of empires.

Publication Date: 3rd July 2014

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Book Three: The Lion of Mistra

The Lion of MistraRome never fell. The empire continued as Byzantium. This epic historical novel concerns one man’s role in saving the empire.

The Ottoman Turks are at the gates of Constantinople and Luke Magoris, descended from princes of England, has to find a fortune to build defences for his beloved Mistra, the last glorious outpost of Imperial Rome, as well as saving the Emperor. He turns to China, to the Ming Empire, for trade and to Renaissance Italy for its rapidly developing banks. Both are entirely new roles for Luke and his Varangian brotherhood and many pitfalls befall him. And yet the Varangian treasure – which only he can uncover – may hold the key to all.

This is a rich tale of clashing empires, trade wars and tempestuous love. It was the age, the early fifteenth century, when the fate of the world hung on the survival of Byzantium; an age that made the modern world.

Publication Date: 2nd July 2015

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Book Four: By Blood Divided

By Blood DividedSiward, scion of a great dynasty, commands the Varangian Guard and has vowed to defend the Roman Empire to the last. Makkim, renowned general to Ottoman rule, has vowed to destroy it.

They are enemies in war, but unknown to them, they are also rivals to inherit one of Europe’s greatest fortunes. Even worse, they are competing for the love of the same woman.

Their vast inheritance lies in Venice, as does the famous courtesan they both love. She is the reason they will find themselves fighting on the walls of Constantinople, in one of the most dramatic sieges in history.

‘Wonderful history, adventure and a heart-breaking love story are brought thrillingly to life’ – Kate Mosse

‘A dramatic read from the very outset’ – Simon Scarrow

Read an exclusive extract from By Blood Divided by James Heneage on

Publication Date: 1st June 2017

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