In Constantinople, empires are about to collide, lovers are about to depart, and the world is about to change for ever.
Beyazit Akman’s epic, 1453: The Conquest is the first novel to appear in English that tells the story of the era-changing war of 1453 for Constantinople between the Ottomans and the Eastern Roman Empire. Written after five years of archival research in libraries worldwide, the novel is a page-turner based on sound historical research. It is also the first of its kind to expound on the life of the renowned fifteenth century historical character, Ottoman-Turkish Sultan Mehmed II, also known as the Conqueror. Celebrated as a national bestseller in its home country of Turkey, the novel has also helped to revitalize historical fiction and has been an inspiration for TV series and films. The novel also lends a new perspective to the centuries-old debate of Constantinople’s fall versus its conquest.
A tragic event forces Alexandros to flee Constantinople—the Queen of Cities—while still a young boy with the help of an old knight and leave his childhood sweetheart Mariam behind. He promises to return, and as such he does, but only after many years, and as a different person entirely—as a janissary, an elite soldier of the Ottoman army—never having forgotten his first love. Meanwhile, Alberti Balbi arrives in the Ottoman capital as an emissary for Venice, but more than envoy, he turns into a mystical traveler. Still mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he falls in love with a Muslim lady, a scribe who copies manuscripts in the capital of the Grand Turk. He records this impossible love in his notebook where he writes in vivid detail his witnessing to history in the making. After all, the nineteen-year-old sultan, young Mehmed is about to conquer Constantinople, which is to change not only the fates of Alexandros and Alberti but also that of the whole world.