In 1176 AD, while in the city of Acre in the Levant, Sir Talon de Gilles and his Sergeant named Max are ordered to accompany Sir Guy de Veres, the Knight Templar Senior, to Constantinople. The Templars are to meet secretly with the Emperor of Byzantium to discuss an impending crusade. While in Constantinople, Talon befriends the Byzantine emissary, Alexios Kalothesos. Talon soon becomes entangled in palace intrigue. His discovery of Greek fire by the ships of the Byzantine navy, used as a weapon to destroy enemy ships, falls into the hands of an enemy of Byzantium. The secret of Greek fire had been well guarded by the Byzantine government.
This novel is the fourth book of the adventures of Sir Talon. I have read all the books in the series and enjoyed reading each one. The author knows his history – the French, Byzantine and Arab cultures – and molds his stories into exciting adventure tales where his hero is constantly put in difficult situations. I would recommend reading the previous three books only to obtain a better background of the main characters, especially Sir Talon, who as a young boy, had been captured by the Arabs and trained as an assassin.
I highly recommend this book and series to readers who enjoy exciting tales of the Levant and France during the 12th century.