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A Place Called Armageddon: Constantinople 1453

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  519 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews

Gregoras had vowed never to return to Constantinople, the cursed home that had betrayed and scarred not only his mind, but his face, for all to see. But now with 100,000 Muslim soldiers outside its walls, he can hear its desperate calls for his help, as it can only be held by men and mercenaries as skilled in battle as Gregoras, of which few remain.

His return home, though

Hardcover, 480 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 2011)
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How often does it happen that over the course of two pages, a book twists and crushes your emotions that you simply can't go on reading it? And how often does that happen in an exclusively positive way?

I do not expect anyone to share my love for this book, but I just want to give credit to C.C. Humphreys for writing what is arguably the best chapter I have read in my life.

For those of you who do not understand why I am so whiny about this. As a historian, I have a passionate love for the Byzanti
Sukob dve vere, ali i dve crkve, sukob dva vladara, sukob dva brata...sve to i mnogo više nalazi se na stranicama odličnog Hamfrizovog romana o padu Konstantinopolja.
Moram da priznam da dugo nisam uživala u ovako lepom, pripovedačkom stilu pisanja, a ovaj roman me je podsetio zašto sam zavolela istoriju.
Prolog na svega četiri stranice je verovatno najbolji uvod u neku knjigu koji sam pročitala u poslednjih nekoliko godina (toliko je dobar da sam morala da ga dva puta pročitam).
I pored toga što
Apr 25, 2017 Isidora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very enjoyable historical novel about the final fall of Byzantium to Ottomans in 1493. Almost perfect book for us who love historical fiction but, as I see, epic fantasy devotees won't argue with that either. Many thanks to my GR friend Jadranka, without her recommendation I would have missed out the book.
C.C. Humphreys is pretty good at historical facts, but a bit predictable when it comes to relations and characters. My only complain is about love scenes... they are embarrassingly s
Nov 09, 2015 Isidora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
U praskozorje jednog, a na zalasku drugog velikog carstva, na raskršću, ali i u kontinuitetu epoha, putevi različitih ljudi se ukrštaju, htenja sudaraju. Gregora i Teon, Sofija i Lejla, Mehmed i Konstantin...borba za slavu, ljubav, veru, dom...borba ambicija, strasti, osvetoljubivosti. Rat za opstanak, izmirenje pobune krvi ili ostvarenje proročanstva. Veličanstvena slika događaja koji je oblikovao svet u kome živimo. Živopisno, šareno, verodostojno. Napete scene, neočekivana razrešenja, ponešto ...more
Robin Carter
May 07, 2012 Robin Carter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nemanja Jovanovic
Necu da davim: trk u najblizu biblioteku/knjizaru I uzimajte ovo!
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
Oct 08, 2014 Patremagne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I am Constantine Palaiologos, emperor, son of Caesars. I am a baker, a ropewright, a fisherman, a monk, a merchant. I am a soldier. I am Roman. I am Greek. I am two thousand years old. I was born in freedom only yesterday. This is my city, Turk. Take it if you can.”

It’s 1453, and the Byzantine Empire is an empire only in name. Its last bastion is Constantinople and the brilliant, arrogant young sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmet II, has his sights set on it, set on completing his father Murad
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
Tyner Gillies
Nov 23, 2012 Tyner Gillies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kathy Davie
Sep 06, 2012 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Manda Scott
Oct 06, 2011 Manda Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 19, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction with good characterizations and moral crises, both personal and societal. I found the moral relativism a bit overdone but it was a fine historical novel. Unity is hard but the west will not survive without it. We will realize it too late, I am sure.
Sep 19, 2012 Sensitivemuse rated it really liked it
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
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
Eric Wright
May 14, 2014 Eric Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Humphreys makes alive a pivotal date in history, the date of Constantinople's conquest by Muslims. He tells the story through the eyes of two rival brothers, the woman they both love but one marries, Mehmet the Muslim conquerer, and other key players including the Emporer Constantine. The story is further complicated by Leilah, a mystic, assassin, and sorcerer.

It is a graphic tale of attack and repulsion, privation and despair until after 53 days of seige using horrific guns and overwhelming fo
Roger Kean
Jul 20, 2012 Roger Kean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 04, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction at its best. Fast paced, detailed , atmospheric and a strong take on the characters.
Brian Manville
Sometimes, a good way to learn about history is to read a fictionalized account and glean history's lessons while being absorbed in a good story. C.C. Humphreys has managed to take a deep topic like the fall of Constantinople and make it a compelling story.

This is a deep story with a lot of action -- when you open the book and you're given a "Dramatis Personae" before you start. It's a deep list which even includes a cat (which does factor into the story at the end). Many historical figures, suc
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,
Jennifer (JC-S)
Nov 14, 2011 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer (JC-S) by:
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
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
Sep 23, 2012 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Venetia Green
Really, such a well-researched tale replete with so many interesting characters should get a rating of at least 4 stars. But I didn't finish this book. I made myself keep reading until exactly halfway, and then I gave up in relief. Why? The problem was not of the author's devising - it was the topic itself! Good fiction makes you care about its characters, or at least some of them. Humphreys made me care, and that was the very root of the problem. I knew full well that, after an epic siege and g ...more
Jul 23, 2013 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 17, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am new to the writings of C.C. HUMPHREYS but I am really impressed by A PLACE CALLED ARMAGEDDON. I now have to add him to my list of authors to follow. I love to read historical novels particularly those that take place from the year 500 to the year 1485. This was my educational background as well as my passion. My knowledge of the Fall of Constantinople was limited but now has been expanded exponentially.

The story centers on twin Greek brothers from Constantinople, the woman they both loved
Jan 14, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 13, 2012 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction, military
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
Robert Mccarthy
May 09, 2014 Robert Mccarthy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bravo Chris Humphreys! A great yarn! I found A Place Called Armageddon to be extremely well researched. I loved the books portrayal of the Sultan Mehmet II, later Mehmet the Conqueror, as jumped up youth and oriental despot. Definitely not the enlightened leader he later grew into, though the bloodlust and love of violence and conquest was definitely there. I also found the portrayal of the ideas and culture of the Italian mercenaries to be fascinating, the kind of impromptu brotherhood and resp ...more
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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 about C.C. Humphreys...

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