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A Place Called Armageddon    by C. C. Humphreys order for
Place Called Armageddon
by C. C. Humphreys
Order:  USA  Can
Orion, 2012 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
*   Reviewed by Elizabeth Crowley

A Place Called Armageddon brings to life one of the most fascinating sieges in history, that resulted in the fall of Constantinople. At the heart of Christianity, Constantinople had grown to become the most powerful empire in the world. But years of war diminished it. As the story opens, the effective, but tired Emperor Constantine rules, and the young Muslim Sultan, Mehmet, plans the ultimate battle to destroy centuries of culture when he plots the fall of Constantinople. The city's hopes lie with a Scotsman who can help the Greeks build a powerful cannon to keep the Turks at bay. But time is running out as the Turks appear in great numbers.

Humphrey sets the stage to depict the fall of Constantinople through not only the eyes of Constantine and Mehmet, but also the men who fight alongside the Emperor and the Sultan. Humphrey introduces various characters including a Scotsman, who is valued for his ability to engineer a Greek cannon. Readers are also introduced to Gregoras, who was once exiled from Constantinople. Gregoras has now returned to fight the invasion of the Turks. He spent years away from Constantinople after he was exiled. But he returns as the city falls prey to the Turks, to fight for the woman he loves who is now married to his twin brother. Humphreys crafts a memorable romance during one of the greatest battles in history.

As compelling as the fall of Constantinople is, I felt A Place Called Armageddon contained too many characters. The novel abruptly transitioned between the perspectives of Greeks and Turks. The inclusion of so many players led to poor character development. The only one I felt had depth was Gregoras. The Turks, including Mehmet had little to no character development, And, although the author did excellent research, there was too much description and not enough storytelling for my taste. However, I did enjoy Gregoras' story as well as his romance with his twin brother's wife and the shocking secret they share.

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