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A Novel of Imperial Constantinople 1453
A Perfect 10
Walter Books
ISBN: 978-8986607788
February 2023
Historical Fiction

Constantinople - 1448 to 1453

Zoe Notaras, daughter of a grand duke, has loved Prince Constantine since she can remember. And he has treated her kindly, always willing to spend time with her, despite their age difference. Constantine is one of the sons of the Byzantine (Roman) Emperor and is widely considered to be a masterful general. But to Zoe, he is her idol, and her friend. When his older brother, the present emperor dies, their mother designates Constantine as the next leader of the empire. By this time, what is known as Eastern Rome has shrunk to a narrow area containing the city of Constantinople surrounded by the Ottoman Empire. 

Although Zoe knows that her love for Constantine cannot be returned, she hopes that their friendship continues after he becomes emperor. She yearns for a mission in life, and when she sees the number of beggars and poor citizens in the city, she takes it upon herself to establish help for them, appealing to her father for funding. 

The Ottoman Turks have a new ruler, Mehmet, the nineteen year old sultan who is known for his ruthlessness, even with his own family members. Constantine appeals to the west for help to build up a defense against a possible invasion, despite his refusal to accept the pope in Rome as his religious leader. Promises are made, but Constantine sees few results as he observes the Turks making their invasion plans. Will the Latins in Rome come to his defense?

Zoe and Constantine grow closer as they both realize what they mean to each other. But Constantine must find ways to defend his city, and that means accepting whatever help he can get. Some from the west arrive in the city to volunteer, including a young warrior named Justiniani, who proves to be a brilliant military mind. But he also has his eyes on Zoe, for her relationship with Constantine is kept secret from the court. She notices his interest, but tries to show her indifference. 

With the Ottoman threat growing worse and worse, how will Constantine hold his beloved city, and protect those he loves? As the threat becomes more real, the small military force in Constantinople prepares for the worst. 

TOMORROW WE WILL KNOW is a brilliant account of an important turn of events that affects the world even today. Sandra Worth has done an incredible amount of research, shown by the detailed description of the city, its people, and the atmosphere in the world during that era. Zoe, Constantine, and Justiniani are brought to life, showing their all-too-human thoughts, dreams, and emotions. Heart rending at times, there are also glorious descriptions of the Byzantine court, as well as a little known history of how Turkey came to be, and why. 

Do not miss this amazing novel. It is my first Perfect 10 of 2023. 

Jani Brooks

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