Hawkwood one of the first artillerist moves to Byzantium to offer his
knowledge to the Emperor. However he ends up fighting for the Ottoman
sultan and so will his descendants for the next 200 years.
Great story that starts with Mehmet Fati who conquers Constantinople and ends with Selim the Sot.
English master-gunner John Hawkwood uproots his family from their native land and journeys to this fabled city.
With the city under threat by the Ottoman Turks, the Byzantine emperor is in desperate need of men like Hawkwood and the knowledge of cannon and gunpowder he brings.
For a time, the Hawkwoods enjoy status and privilege in return for John’s superior abilities as an artillerist.
But all good things must come to an end.
When tragedy strikes, even the close relationship John shares with the emperor cannot absolve the family of their sins, and with little more than the clothes on their backs, the Hawkwoods flee Constantinople.
Captured by the savage Turks, John Hawkwood swiftly changes his allegiance, and once more applies his considerable skills…this time serving the conquerors in their victorious surge across eastern Europe and Mediterranean shores.
No man lives forever, but the Hawkwood line never dies.
For five generations, the Hawkwood men serve their Turkish leaders faithfully as military leaders and envoys.
Although showered with wealth and privilege and accorded honours commensurate with their rank, their fates lie in the often capricious hands of the Ottoman empire’s cruel leaders.
Over a span of nearly one hundred and fifty years, the Hawkwoods must employ every ounce of political cunning they possess to survive the swirling intrigues and bloody massacres that dominate the world in which they live.
For their wives and concubines, the uncertainties and dangers of life are no less severe: the punishment meted out to a Hawkwood man who fails his duty likewise falls upon his family.
Beyond the gleaming wealth and the veneer of power lie grim spectres of betrayal and sudden death, the threat of ravishment and torture lurking behind the gilded pillars of their palaces and harems.
And when the time comes to choose between Ottoman and Hawkwood, no one can say what the future might bring…