Dergrossest's Reviews > Empires of the Sea: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580

Empires of the Sea by Roger Crowley
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's review
Jun 21, 2009

it was amazing

Even though I knew long ago how the titanic clashes between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire turned out in the Mediterranean, this book had me on the edge of my seat, frantically turning the pages to read about the next incredible act of heroism, cruelty, idiocy or betrayal. It is another reminder that Turkish, not English, would probably be the lingua franca today, but for the bravery of a few Knights of St. John holding out against incredible odds on Malta, or for the Spanish, Venetians and Pope begrudgingly banding together at Lepanto to annihilate the mightiest fleet ever put to sea by the forces of Islam. It also helps put the annoying, but ultimately insignificant and futile efforts of Al Qaeda in better perspective. Highly recommended - even if you have no particular interest in the era, this book can't help but make you feel better knowing that there is no chance that you will end up as a galley slave.

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Brian I've read a couple of novels based on these conflicts; specifically the invasion of Rhodes and the siege at Malta later on. I can't recall the name of the book about Rhodes, but other than the battle scenes, it was just okay. But the novel based on Malta was very good. A real ripping yarn it was, filled with violence, sex, intrigue, and general mayhem. It's called The Religion and was written by Tim Willocks, who also wrote the best prison-based novel I've ever read (not that I've read many).

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