Authors: Anthony Goodman
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.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Goodman, Anthony A.
The shadow of God: a novel of war and faith / by Anthony A. Goodman.
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.
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.
Grand Vizier of Selim and of Suleiman. Descendent of Abu Bakr, Companion to the Prophet, Mohammed.
Brother-in-law of Suleiman,
Commander-in-Chief. Second Vizier under Piri Pasha.
Greek slave and boyhood companion of Suleiman.
Agha of the Azabs.
Agha of the Janissaries. “The Raging Lion.”
Third Vizier. Albanian, promoted to
of Rumelia after the capture of Belgrade.
Albanian. One-time Agha of the Janissaries.
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.
Sent to Siwas to put down revolt by Shiite, Shah-Suwar Oghli Bey.
Suleiman’s mother, widow of Selim; called the
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
Philippe Villiers de L’Isle Adam.
Knights and Their Langues
Italy. Servant-at-arms. Skilled negotiator.
England. Lieutenant to the Grand Master. Turcopilier (Commander of the Cavalry).
England. Standard bearer for the Grand Master.
Prejan de Bidoux.
Provence. Prior of St. Giles. Bailiff of Kos.
Pierre de Cluys.
France. Grand Prior.
France. Captain of the galleys.
Jacques de Bourbon.
Knight of Provence.
Antoine de Grollée.
France. Truce envoy.
Juan de Barabon.
Commander of Post of Aragon.
Juan d’Homedes y Cascón.
Aragon. Future Grand Master, Knights of St. John.