The Shadow of God: A Novel of the Siege of Rhodes

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A tremendously vivid historical encounter becomes a larger-than-life canvas for this brilliant saga. The year is 1522. Two great leaders, twenty-five-year-old Suleiman the Magnificent, the absolute ruler of the mighty Ottoman Empire, and Philippe de L’Isle Adam, the grisly, fifty-eight-year-old Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, come to war on the Greek island of Rhodes. For 145 days, Philippe and 500 European Knights fight to protect their fortressed city and withstand an assault of nearly 200,000 men from ...
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Overview

A tremendously vivid historical encounter becomes a larger-than-life canvas for this brilliant saga. The year is 1522. Two great leaders, twenty-five-year-old Suleiman the Magnificent, the absolute ruler of the mighty Ottoman Empire, and Philippe de L’Isle Adam, the grisly, fifty-eight-year-old Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, come to war on the Greek island of Rhodes. For 145 days, Philippe and 500 European Knights fight to protect their fortressed city and withstand an assault of nearly 200,000 men from Suleiman’s army, in a battle that becomes the historic hallmark for siege warfare.

Authentic in all its historical detail, The Shadow of God evokes a seismic clash of cultures: Muslim versus Christian, the Ottoman Empire versus the last remaining Knights of the Crusades and, most important, two of the most powerful men of their time. Embedded in this fictional account is the secret marriage of a lovely Jewish nurse to her Christian French Knight, as well as the forbidden love of the Grand Master for the beautiful Helene. An epic of bravery and courage, The Shadow of God weaves a tapestry of beauty, terror and triumph set in a forgotten time of brutality and courage, loyalty and honor.

About the Author: Anthony A. Goodman is an adjunct Professor of Medicine at Montana State University. The Shadow of God, his first novel, was inspired by a visit to Rhodes, where he became fascinated by the conflict that engulfed the three great monotheisms of the era. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Christianity and Islam face off in the siege of Rhodes, the subject of Goodman's gripping first novel. In 1520, a century after the final Crusade, the only remaining Christian outpost in the Near East is the small Greek island of Rhodes, from which pirates harass Muslim shipping. Suleiman the Magnificent, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, is determined to destroy the outpost. Philippe de L'Isle Adam, grand master of the Knights of Rhodes, rallies his 500 battle-hardened knights in their near-impregnable fortress. Two generations earlier, the knights had fought off a siege by Suleiman's grandfather. Now the sultan sends an army of 200,000 men and hundreds of warships to surround the island and to destroy Philippe. The thoroughly researched book is occasionally didactic, but that doesn't get in the way of the spellbinding, historically accurate plot or Goodman's sensitive portrayals of the warring leaders and the civilizations they represent. He even manages to pull off a tender and credible romantic subplot (less explicit than his gory descriptions of amputations, tortures and executions). But perhaps the most satisfying element of this novel is Goodman's artful rendering of the landscapes and pageantry of the Ottoman Empire. The immense walls of the fortress at Rhodes, impervious even to huge cannonballs; the elaborate network of tunnels dug at great cost of life; the winding, dark streets of the town within the fortress all these are so vividly rendered that historical fiction fans and medieval history enthusiasts will be crossing their fingers for a follow-up. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Goodman's first novel is an engaging and well-written fictional account of the Ottoman Turks' 145-day siege of the Greek island of Rhodes. For two centuries, the Knights of St. John have sailed the Mediterranean, preying on Ottoman ships. When the knights under the command of Grand Master Philippe Villiers de L'Isle Adam occupy Rhodes in 1522, the new sultan, 25-year-old Suleiman the Magnificent, demands the surrender of the island. As much a story of the determination of those leaders, their talented commanders, and the diverse cultures they represent, this book is also a record of the battles waged, the horrible suffering, the complexities of loyalties and betrayals, and the tenuous position of Jews caught in the cultural crossfire. Few fictional treatments of Suleiman and the Knights of St. John are available, but even if this were not the case, this novel would still be highly recommended for all public libraries.-Jean Langlais, St. Charles P.L., IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A sprawling debut takes us back to 1522 and the siege of Rhodes-when the Knights of St. John came face-to-face with the fleet of Suleiman the Magnificent. The Mediterranean has been a crossroads of many cultures-and at times quite a bloody one as well. By the 16th century, after a period of some tranquility, the region had begun to heat up again. The new Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman, was young, ambitious, and determined to regain control of the trade routes that the economy of his empire depended on. His main obstacle was a Christian military order, the Knights of St. John, headquartered on the island of Rhodes. Originally founded to care for the sick and provide for the assistance and defense of pilgrims to the Holy Land, the Knights had turned to buccaneering after the Turks drove them from Palestine and now regularly attacked and captured Turkish ships and plundered their cargoes (thereby growing immensely rich). The newly elected Grand Master of the order is the French nobleman Philippe de l'Isle Adam, who faces opposition from his own ranks as well as from the Turks, since he came to power in a close election and has alienated members of the order by his refusal to countenance full-fledged piracy. His abilities as leader are quickly put to the test when the Sultan descends upon Rhodes with an army of 200,000, demanding the surrender of the fortress and the 500 knights defending it. For more than a hundred days the Knights hold out against unbelievable odds before they accept the inevitable and surrender Rhodes to the Turks. Allowed to depart in peace, they settle on Malta and plot their return. The Sultan reigns as conqueror of Rhodes-but for how long? A good telling of a true story,readable, diverting, but not a standout.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570719042
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/1902
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.17 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2003

    Love, action, adventure, intrigue, hopelessness, and victory.

    with the 6 things up top in the headline, exactly, what more would you need to have in a book? and its based on actual events! the battle scenes blow away the great battles of the movies, braveheart, lord of the rings, etc... it was insane. i just wish this guy wrote more books.

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