A Gift for the Sultan
by Geoffrey Fox
A novel of Constantinople, AD 1402
A story of Christians versus Muslims, cosmopolitans versus anti-urbanites, and the surprising complicities between supposed foes. A Byzantine princess is entrusted to a fierce Ottoman warrior to deliver to the sultan as part of a surrender package of the city, until an unexpected overturn of the political chessboard changes all their fates. Based on the true history of the siege of Constantinople in 1402 and the battle of Ankara, with a cast of historical figures and fictional composite characters.
Turkish translation by Orhan Tuncay, published by NoktaKitap (2013): Bir Cihan, iki Sultan
Here’s a review by another novelist:
A multi-layered novel, as steeped in the nuances of ancient history as the city of Istanbul itself. Not just an adventure yarn and a history of the Ottoman siege of Constantinople, but a haunting, poetic rendition of royals and warriors as they might have been. What’s most stylistically stunning though, is how Geoffrey Fox takes you into the cultural patterns and day-to-day thoughts of a time when magical realism lived in the minds of the populace. You’ll be hooked from the first sighting of the simurgh bird nesting in the Tree of Life.Jan Alexander, author of Getting to Lamma.