book cover of Byzantium
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(The first book in the Tattooed Warrior series)
A novel by



Conn Fitz Malvais, Horse Warrior, has fled after the traumatic murder of the woman he loved; she died in his arms. Blaming himself for her death, he rides to the Byzantine Empire, a thousand miles to the east. Meanwhile, his friend, Georgio, frantically searches for him, following a faint trail.
It is the year 1100, and it is easy for people to stay lost as Conn disappears into the vast and dangerous city of Constantinople. Here, he signs up to fight for the Emperor Alexios. The Commander of the Emperor's forces recognises the Horse Warrior's talents and gives him the daunting task of controlling a troublesome, large crusade from Lombardy. This crusader camp is unruly and volatile; many of them are scum from the slums of Milan. They begin to rebel, attacking the local villages; Conn fails to stop them, but he is forced to deliver harsh and brutal punishments afterwards.
Meanwhile, in Normandy, Piers De Chatillon, the Papal Envoy, is weaving his political web to help Duke Robert regain the crown of England from Henry, and he needs Conn to return. He summons him back, unaware of the dangers he and Georgio are now embroiled in for the Emperor.
Conn has several enemies in the crusader camp, including a vicious Lombard knight who leads the rebels and wants the Horse Warrior's head in revenge for his reprisals against him and his men. This knight plans to carry out a daring attack with hundreds of rebels on the Emperor's palace in the city, and they decide to lure the Horse Warrior into a trap to kill him. His friend, Georgio, hears of the plot, but it is far too late, as Conn is already in the city.

"A thrilling start to a new series"

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 December 2023, Amazon Customer.
"Although this book continues the story of some characters already met in the Breton Horse Warrior series, it can be read as a stand-alone tale. Bringing to life the events leading to the First Crusade, it vividly describes the power politics involved between the various characters, many real historical figures, against the background of the human suffering behind the thousands of ordinary people who accompanied the Crusaders. It is a fast-moving tale, full of suspense and excitement and thoroughly researched, leaving the reader eager to hear more at the end. You won't be disappointed."

Also by SJ Martin:
The Papal Assassin series
The Breton Horse Warriors series
Genre: Historical

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