The Walls of Byzantium : The Mistra Chronicles

  • by James Heneage
  • Narrated by William Rycroft
  • Series: The Mistra Chronicles
  • 16 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This remarkable, sweeping historical novel, rich in story and character, is shaped by the quest for a hidden treasure, rumoured to bequeath riches beyond belief and guarded by successive generations of famed warriors.
15th-century Europe: a time of warring states and ruthless growing empires, divided churches and dynamic traders. In the midst of growing unrest, rivals battle for this treasure, each desperate to secure its power for their own nations. But no-one can discover its whereabouts; nor even knows if it is still in the possession of those born to guard it....
Four remarkable characters from four leading families provide the story as their crossed allegiances, plots and passions are played out on this epic scale. Yet the private lives are there too, and in castle and church, in siege and on battlefield, the love, fear, violence and reluctant loyalty to creed or destiny propel the characters to their fates. Walls of Byzantium is the first of a series and will leave you impatient and longing for the next.

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What the Critics Say

"A stirring tale of the struggle for Byzantium. Heneage brings to life both the tragedy and the heroism." (Tom Holland)
"A compelling narrative of intrigue, love, and war" (The Bookseller)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great book and narrator

If you could sum up The Walls of Byzantium in three words, what would they be?

Believable, fast paced


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Walls of Byzantium?

The village labyrinth. I can really picture it :)


What about William Rycroft’s performance did you like?

Well paced, good narration


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

History in the making


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- Deborah

More fiction than historical fiction.

Would you try another book written by James Heneage or narrated by William Rycroft?

No. I can't believe I wasted so many hours of my life on this book.


What was most disappointing about James Heneage’s story?

I understand that the main characters needed to be in certain places at certain times to fulfil the historical part of the genre but I began to despise tha characters for being so one dimensional and prone to mishap.
If Suleiman truly spent so much time romancing a ninny then how did he have the time to do anything? It was a bit too Mills & Boon for me, light on fact or detail. It was not believable, coherent or consistent.
Seeing that there is a sequel I wonder if this book is just the set up, which would explain the disjointed narrative and loose ends. I just cannot be bothered to listen to anymore.


What didn’t you like about William Rycroft’s performance?

Performance was okay.


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom and self disgust because I actually persevered to the end.


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- Tessa

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-07-2013
  • Publisher: Quercus