A Place Called Armageddon
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A Place Called Armageddon

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  246 ratings  ·  51 reviews
To the Greeks who love it, it is Constantinople. To the Turks who covet it, the Red Apple. Safe behind its magnificent walls, the city was once the heart of the vast Byzantine empire.

1453. The empire has shrunk to what lies within those now-crumbling walls. A relic. Yet for one man, Constantinople is the stepping stone to destiny. Mehmet is twenty when he is annointed Sult...more
Hardcover, 461 pages
Published 2011 by Orion
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Robin Carter
Based on the books that Chris Humphreys has written to date no one can ever accuse him of taking on the easy subjects, Vlad the last confession was my number one read of 2009 and that was against some seriously good competition, but the book was exceptional.
In this new book "A Place Called Armageddon" brings us a climactic end and a new beginning, it is the Siege of 1453 of Constantinople, and as usual Chris Humphreys writes so well on the epic scale, but when doing so always manages to keep the...more
I've read several books by Mr. Humphreys, but this was by far my favourite. The characters were so well developed, and such clear individuals, that it felt as though they were standing beside me, waiting to tell me their stories. The battle scenes were so clear in my mind that I stopped reading the book and started seeing it, instead. Whether you like historical fiction or not, this is an excellent story.
A Place Called Armageddon was the number one expected historical fiction of mine in 2011 and one my top expected books overall and I bought it the first moment i could and read it asap; high, high expectations and what can I say: the author not only delivered but surpassed them.

I will write the FBC review and c/p it here

INTRODUCTION: C.C. Humphreys came to my attention with “Vlad: The Last Confession”; despite my deep misgivings about it being another stupid rehashing of the myth of Dracula, th...more
Kathy Davie
Pages: 480
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, Illinois
Review source: Publisher
Reviewed by: Kathy Davie

It's the battle in 1453 that sees the end of an era in Constantinople.

My Take
Oh man, Humphreys has me by the first page of the prologue! I'm tense with fear at the description he provides of the Turk flowing to the walls of Constantinople. Heck, I wanna just open the gates and tell 'em to have at it. How can he possibly fight against a mass of men like this? And yet the men fighting to save...more
I've got to face the fact that, as much as I wanted to like this book, I didn't. I don't know why. I usually enjoy historical fiction and am pretty tolerant of some wild flights of creative fancy. But A Place Called Armageddon just didn't connect. I was ready to quit after 30 pages but forced myself through the first 100, just to be fair. I restarted twice, but the attraction of other books--even children's books--proved stronger than slogging through more of this.

The author jumps between charac...more
Gerry Claes
This is one of those books where I wish I could give it two ratings. When Humphreys sticks to the historical facts the book is informative and very interesting. When he covers the fictional characters it reads like a soap opera, very UN-interesting and totally predictable.

This historical novel about the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453 was one that I did not know a lot about. The Muslims had literally surrounded Christian Constantinople by 1453 and its fall was all but inevitable. Th...more
This book was so historically rich it was like reading a very entertaining text book. It’s nice to read both sides of the battle even though the main character is a Greek man named Gregoras. It switches back and forth between the point of views of various characters from both sides - my personal favorites would be Leilah and Achmed.

Although it might seem there’s a lot of characters it does focus on a select few so it’s easily memorable. There’s various story arcs to follow, but what I liked abo...more
Manda Scott
This is not a book I would have read had I not met the author at the Kelmarsh festival this summer. I'm fairly averse to books about Christianity versus Islam and it's not my era - but, having met Chris, I bought it and am immensely glad that I did. Like "The Religion" by Tim Willocks (which is undoubtedly a 5* book - must review it soon), this looks at a siege from both sides of the conflict, in this case, the siege of Constantinople in 1453 (handily, the part title tells you this). The leading...more
Roger Kean
Having once written a reference book on the Byzantine Empire (which is actually cited in the bibliography at the end…) and of course covering its fall to the Turks in 1453, it is fascinating to see the more intimate (and gruesome) details of the siege brought to life by a master of story telling in a historical context. Humphreys neatly weaves in the bitter rivalry story of the Lascari twin brothers, Gregoras and Theon, the family they share, and the courts of Constantine and Mehmet into the dee...more
The battle for Constantinople is one of history's defining moments; the "Rome of the East" falls to "the Turk" and one of the most glorious cathedrals ever built, the Hagia Sophia was looted and turned to a Mosque. So began the reign of the Ottoman Empire over what is now called Istanbul. Mehmet II was a young sultan of 21 when he did what none of his ancestors had been able to do before him - breach the walls of Constantinople and call himself "fatih" or conqueror.

This novel, though is a tale o...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
This story takes place in the 1400s during the siege of Contantinople, where the Turks invaded the city in order to wrestle away power. Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) was at the crossroads of the world at that time. It was where the East and West met and therefore, there were a lot of different groups that wanted to control it. You had the Italians, Turkish, and Greeks all vying for dominance in the city.

Yes, this is a war story but there is so much more to it than that. As the book synop...more
The demise of the Byzantine empire has fascinated me for some time.

In particular, the heroics of the defenders at Constantinople.

This was a well balanced book, giving the viewpoint of both belligerents, that seems to be very popular from modern authors like Cornwell, Kane, Napier and so on.

Indeed I found myself making comparisons here as this book elbows for room alongside thise auspicious shelf fellows. It's not a subject that I seen too much fiction on, so I was looking to be not only entert...more
Jason Golomb
"For I am the Turk. I come on the bare feet of the farmer, the armored boot of the Anatolian...I clutch scimitar, scythe, and spear, my fingers pull back bowstring and trigger, I have a glowing match to lower into a monster's belly and make it spit out hell. I am the Turk. There are a hundred thousand of me. And I am here to take your city."
...And so begins C.C. Humphreys' take on the Turk siege of the (mostly) Greek-held Constantinople in 1453.

This is actually a very good book. The attractive,...more
This book was free on Amazon for a short period earlier this year. Thank you, Amazon. This author both passed and failed the mechanics of good writing test. The read was both boring and exciting. The author's sentence fragments maddened me yet allowed me to feel his style of writing. I found myself reading about 'he' for pages before I realized I did not know who 'he' was. This was a story about the Turkish/Islam siege on Christian/Constantinople in 1453. The story-line was sound. The fighting w...more
First and foremost, if you don't know much about the real-life fall of Constantinople, don't read the book. It does an okay job of explaining what happens and what leads up to it, but the main focus is on the characters, which are pretty good.
Rather than make the story about heroic Greeks, outnumbered by savage Turks, or Turks gloriously taking over a Greek city, we get a good view of both sides. From the scarred and disgraced Gregoras, to the treacherous and intelligent Theon, to the cocky and...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Dec 02, 2011 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer (JC-S) by: fionnabhair@bigpond.com
Shelves: librarybooks
‘And I am here to take your city.’

By 1453, the walled city of Constantinople is all that remains of the once magnificent Byzantine Empire. One hundred thousand Ottoman (Turkish) soldiers, led by Sultan Mehmet II, want to take Constantinople from the Byzantines. Possession of the city the Ottomans refer to as the Red Apple will serve as a sign of supremacy over the Christian infidels.

As the Byzantine Empire has crumbled, so have Constantinople’s walls. Defending the city will not be easy for the...more
I really wanted to like this book. Not much fiction focuses on the fall of Constantinople, and it was clear the author really did his work in researching the subject. The characters were colorful and memorable for such a large cast, and Humphreys did an excellent job of making Constantinople itself a character in the book.

From there, it begins to fall apart. The siege itself is overlooked for the plot revolving around the major characters which is unwieldy and improbable at best. The story is...more

This should be a book that I love. The fall of Constantinople was a pivotal part of history killing off the final vestiges of the Roman Empire This was an epic but essentially mediocre book.

The hero of the story was Greogas who had his nose cut off as punishment for being suspected of betraying the Constantinople before. He could have been a much more interesting character and I grew weary of his adventures. His ex-wife Sofia had the inner fire of a water bubble for most of the story and annoyed...more
Jan 07, 2014 Jennavier marked it as didn-t-finish
This is one of those cases where it wasn't the book, it was me. I learned that military historical are really not my thing. I'm not even a huge fan of historicals in general and military stuff almost puts me to sleep. This also had the grand tragedy vibe going on that recently I've tried to avoid. Too much drama in real life to take it on in fiction.
The one thing that irrevocably killed it for me was the women. The two major females were the black widow and the besmirched Madonna. Both these wom...more
Bill P.
Having enjoyed Humphreys account of what might have been the life of the "real" dracula (Vlad) and being a fan of historical epics I was happy to jump into his account of the fall of Constantinople. Humphreys blends together an engaging mix of historical and invented characters, intrique and action, and even a touch of romance. While the novel clearly favors the side of the Christians he does not completely vilify the Turks, creating characters on both sides of the conflict the reader can sympat...more
This was a great read! There were some issues I had with the book, but on a whole it's a great historical read on the fall of Constantinople. Even though it is a work of fiction, some of the characters are based on real life warriors that fought at the battle and that I really enjoyed knowing. The author gives background on these characters at the end of the book. There were a couple of times the f-word was used and I don't think the people of 1453 would have known what that word was. It made th...more
a free Friday nook book Wow--what a book! It is over 500 pages, but we are talking about a battle, the siege of Constaninople, which lasted nearly two months. The author writes from the viewpoint of the attacking Turks, and the defending Christians. The main character, Gregoras, has two other names, and two women in his life--Sofia, whom he finds out is the mother of his son, as well as his sister-in-law, and Leila, the fortuneteller. Though Gregoras is a champion archer, he is also adept at sev...more
This was terrible. No matter what I did and no matter how I tried I couldn't get into it. I ended up having to read it a few pages at a time for months and months on end while I read other books in between. Dozens of other books.

The plot sounds interesting and I think that it could be. I'm just not a fan of something about this book. None of the characters appealed to me. When the writer tried to make them mysterious they seemed hokey. When he tried to make them heroic they fell flat. Definitel...more
This book is what it is. That would be historical fiction with a strong military content. The side story is about two brothers who have a Romulus - Remus type relationship and a rivalry over the same woman. This plot is secondary to the siege of Constantinople by the Turks. A lot of strong research when into this. There are two very helpful maps and a glossary for some of the Muslim based words used in the text. If you like historical fiction with a goodly amount violence you will be well please...more
Howard Anders
Thoroughly enjoyable treatment of the 1453 attack on Constantinople by the Turks. Loved the characterization of combatants from both sides, and that heroism and villainy was not confined to one side or the other. Humphreys draws an interesting picture of the Sultan, Mehmet, not found in history books. I was surprised to learn that so many of the Christian defenders were permitted to withdraw to ships and escape after the Turks had breached the walls - and that Mehmet invited residents to return...more
Jul 07, 2013 Liz rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: history lovers
Recommended to Liz by: bn free fridays
This is about the story of the fall of Constantinople. It involves a lot of fighting between the Greeks of Constantinople and the Turks. There is a little romance involved too. The author cut back and forth between a Greek soldier that was labeled a traitor and lost his nose because of it, and the Turks. It was very difficult at times to follow the Turks dialog at times and sometimes had to re-read those parts. Overall the story moved at a pretty decent pace, and it is based on facts which the o...more
Ron Bryson
Long. To much social and not enough action
C.C. Humphreys really makes history interesting. I picked out this book just out of curiosity, and I like historical fiction. The author not only makes history interesting and engaging, he added such accurate detail. In the back of the book the author cites all his sources, and explains how he actually went to Constantinople to meet ancestors of this great war. Luck was with him and he was able to actually meet with ancestors of soldiers, to hear the stories passed down through the centuries.
Chris Callaway
Another fine work of historical fiction from C. C. Humphreys. The novel is about the fall of Constantinople and the end of Byzantium. Like his other books, it's well researched and quite a page-turner. You can't help but feel a little for the Greeks, given the overwhelming odds they face (and the courage and determination they show in facing them), but Humphreys portrays both sides even-handedly.
A won a copy of this book from a GoodReads giveaway.

Generally this type and genre of book is not something I would have ever normally read but I really wanted to challenge myself with reading something new. I'm glad I did. It was an enjoyable read with a lot of information and background. I walked away from this book learning a lot about a subject I previously knew nothing about.
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aka Chris Humphreys

C.C. Humphreys was born in Toronto, Canada, and grew up in Los Angeles and London. A third generation actor and writer on both sides of his family, he returned to Canada in the nineties and there his writing career began. He won the inaugural playwriting competition of the New Play Centre, Vancouver with his first play, 'A Cage Without Bars' which was produced in Vancouver and L...more
More about C.C. Humphreys...
Vlad: The Last Confession The French Executioner (French Executioner, #1) The Hunt of the Unicorn Jack Absolute  (Jack Absolute, #1) The Blooding Of Jack Absolute (Jack Absolute, #2)

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