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Authors: Anthony Goodman

Shadow of God

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Copyright © 2002 by Anthony A. Goodman

Cover and internal design © 2002 by Sourcebooks, Inc.

Cover image © Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France/Bridgeman Art Library


This novel is a work of fiction based on historical events. Any historical names, characters, and incidents used fictitiously are done under the understanding that such representations are not meant to accurately portray actual people or events.


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.


Published by Sourcebooks, Inc.

P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410

(630) 961-3900

FAX: (630) 961-2168


ISBN 1-4022-0150-8


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


Goodman, Anthony A.

The shadow of God: a novel of war and faith / by Anthony A. Goodman.

p. cm.

ISBN 1-57071-904-7

1. Rhodes (Greece: Island)—History—Siege, 1522—Fiction. 2. Sieges—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3607.O564 S53 2002





Printed and bound in the United States of America


LB 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1











This book could not have been written without
the love and support of my wife, Maribeth, and
my children, Katie and Cameron.











Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as
when they do it from religious conviction.


—Blaise Pascal


Cast of Characters


Prologue: The Traitor


Book One: Never the Twain Shall Meet

1. The Son of Selim

2. The Shadow of God

3. The Grand Master

4. The Palace of the Cannon Gate

5. The Stronghold

6. The War Camp

7. The Gathering Storm


Book Two: Two Strong Men

8. The Sultan’s Army

9. First Blood

10. The End of the Beginning

11. The Carnage

12. The Enemy Below

13. Into the Breach

14. Councils of War

15. The Sword of Islam

16. The Breath of Kings

17. The Last Traitor

18. Shoulder to Shoulder

19. The Beginning of the End

20. The Envoys

21. Face to Face

22. From the Ends of the Earth


Epilogue: “Nothing So Well Lost.”


Story and History





About the Author

In the fifty years surrounding the turn of the sixteenth century, the world witnessed changes that surpassed almost any previous era in human history. East and West collided on a scale that spanned thousands of geographic miles, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of human lives.

In the Middle East, five centuries of Christian Crusades were coming to an end. The waves of European armies sent forth to protect Christians traveling to Jerusalem and to slaughter the Muslim Infidels were in retreat. The uses of gunpowder were expanded and refined. New cannons were forged with huge cannonballs, and remarkable accuracy. Muskets and rifles were used alongside the crossbow and lance. Fortifications were massively strengthened to meet the increase in firepower.

In the Holy Lands, the fortresses of Jerusalem, St. Jean d’Acre, and Krak de Chevaliers successively fell before the Muslim armies, driving the Christian Crusaders to still another far-off fortress and still another confrontation with Islam in
. Ottoman Sultans of Turkey, who had conquered the lands of the Arabian Peninsula, embraced the fast-growing religion of Islam. At the dawn of the sixteenth century, Muslim and Christian, East and West, were about to meet in the final battles for dominion.

This is the story of those final days.

Though this book is a work of fiction, almost all of the characters in it are based on historical figures. Today, we are fortunate to have access to the writings of many contemporary observers who
were on the scene at the time. There were ambassadors and envoys who spent decades at the inner court of the sultans. And there were soldier-writers who participated in the battles, who kept voluminous diaries and wrote detailed letters home, many of which have survived to this day. Though each observer may have been biased by his or her particular position in society, we can still get a well balanced and detailed picture of the period.

I believe that historical fiction can serve the dual, and not contradictory, purposes of entertaining as well as educating. History has too often been left to the writers of textbooks, and has been overburdened with dates and minutiae. The peoples of the era are often placed in a position secondary to the events. I hope that the story of
The Shadow of God
will allow an understanding of the hearts of the people as well as the events in which they participated.

Nearly five hundred years after the era of this story, much has changed in our world, and much has remained the same. Unfortunately, many followers and true believers of the great religions of the world have little tolerance for those who do not share their own specific beliefs. This intolerance seems to have intensified over the centuries. On many fronts, religion has severed its ties to spirituality; compassion is losing the battle against prejudice. There have been moments in time when some of the believers made room in their hearts for those with different beliefs. We can only hope that such a time might yet come again.

—Anthony A. Goodman, 2002

The Ottoman Turks


Suleiman. The Magnificent. Kanuni.
The Lawgiver. Son of Selim, the Grim.

Piri Pasha.
Grand Vizier of Selim and of Suleiman. Descendent of Abu Bakr, Companion to the Prophet, Mohammed.

Mustapha Pasha.
Brother-in-law of Suleiman,
Commander-in-Chief. Second Vizier under Piri Pasha.

Greek slave and boyhood companion of Suleiman.

Ali Bey.
Agha of the Azabs.

Bali Agha.
Agha of the Janissaries. “The Raging Lion.”

Achmed Agha.
Third Vizier. Albanian, promoted to
of Rumelia after the capture of Belgrade.

Ayas Agha.
Albanian. One-time Agha of the Janissaries.

Qasim Pasha.
Son of a slave of Bayazid II. First in the ranks of heroes of Anatolia. Commands forces opposite Post of England.

Pilaq Mustapha Pasha.
(Admiral) of the Navy.

A Corsair, Naval Chief-of-Staff under Pilaq. But, in reality, in charge of the entire naval fighting force at Rhodes.

Ferhad Pasha.
Sent to Siwas to put down revolt by Shiite, Shah-Suwar Oghli Bey.

Suleiman’s mother, widow of Selim; called the

Gülbehar. “
Flower of Spring.” Suleiman’s First Woman of the harem, and mother of his first child, Mustapha.

Suleiman’s Second Woman of the harem. “The Laughing One.” Later to be named La Ruselanna, (the Russian) and finally known to history as Roxelanna.

Dr. Moshe Hamon.
Physician to the Sultan. Son of Joseph Hamon, first of the dynasty of Sephardic Jewish doctors who were physicians to the Ottoman Sultans.


Knights of Rhodes


Grand Master

Philippe Villiers de L’Isle Adam.


Knights and Their Langues

Andrea d’Amaral.
Chancellor. Portugal.

Antonio Bosio.
Italy. Servant-at-arms. Skilled negotiator.

John Buck.
England. Lieutenant to the Grand Master. Turcopilier (Commander of the Cavalry).

Henry Mansell.
England. Standard bearer for the Grand Master.

Prejan de Bidoux.
Provence. Prior of St. Giles. Bailiff of Kos.

Pierre de Cluys.
France. Grand Prior.

Michel d’Argillemont.
France. Captain of the galleys.

Jacques de Bourbon.
Knight of Provence.

Antoine de Grollée.
France. Truce envoy.

Nicholas Hussey.

Juan de Barabon.
Commander of Post of Aragon.

Juan d’Homedes y Cascón.
Aragon. Future Grand Master, Knights of St. John.

BOOK: Shadow of God
8.55Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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