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Knighthood's Final Hour?
By the early sixteenth century, Rhodes, the "Isle of Blossoming Roses," had become a thorne in the Ottoman Empire's side. Located only eleven miles from the coast of Asia Minor, the island was controlled by the Order of the Knights of St. John (later known as the Knights of Malta), former crusaders who by then had two specialties: tending to ailing Christians and pirating Muslim ships.
In 1522, Sultan Suleiman I resolved to put an end to it and unleashed a force of a hundred thousand troops to beseige the island. Rhodes's proximity to Ottoman territory ensured that the Turkish soldiers would be well armed, well fed, and quickly replaced if killed or injured. Facing them was a force of only six hundred knights, fifteen hundred mercanaries and three thousand native Rhodians.
In this, the second installment in The East Mediterranean Trilogy, Nanami Shiono weaves another rich and fascinating narrative around a key battle between Islam and Christendom. An inspiring portrait of nobility and courage in the face of overwhelming odds, it also offers a rare glimpse into the history of one of the most important knightly orders, one that helped establish the tradition of medical care in the West as we know it today.
|Product dimensions:||5.38(w) x 8.31(h) x 0.88(d)|
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I really enjoyed this book while reading it to prepare for a trip to Rhodes. It was arranged in a rather novel fashion: part narrative, and part encyclopedia where the work sought to explain the history of the Knights Hospitaller as background information. I was quite literally unable to put the book down and read the whole work quite quickly and I felt like ms. shiono had done her research until the afterward when she began to sum up the knights' exodus to Malta. Having studied the knights, I found many of her statements were contrary to histories I'd read before which made me wonder just exactly how well this book was researched. These may well have been semantical issues and the faults of the translators, however, one would think an editor would check the facts before publishing. I will say that I would not hesitate to pick up her other works on Lepanto and the fall of Constantinople.