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The year is 1546, and Suleiman the Magnificent, the powerful and feared sultan of the Ottoman Empire, issues an invitation to every king in Europe: You are invited to send your finest player to compete in a chess tournament to determine the champion of the known world.
Thousands converge on Constantinople, including the English court's champion and his guide, the esteemed scholar Roger Ascham. Seeing a chance to enlighten the mind of a student, Ascham brings along Elizabeth Tudor, a brilliant young woman not yet thrust into royal duties.
Yet on the opening night of the tournament, a powerful guest of the sultan is murdered. Soon barbaric deaths, diplomatic treachery, and unimaginable depravity - sexual and otherwise - unfold before Elizabeth and Ascham's eyes. The pair soon realizes that the real chess game is being played within the court itself - and its most treacherous element is that a stranger in a strange land is only as safe as her host is gracious.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Reynaldo Garcia on 08-23-15
While not the breakneck pace that fans of Reilly may be accustomed to, this little piece of historical fiction is quite enjoyable. The nerdy professor is a type we've seen before, but this one is no less enjoyable and his student - I won't spoil anything - but you'll get a serious kick out of her.
Recommend for Reilly fans who don't mind something a bit, just a bit, slower than scarecrow. Think Indiana Jones with a hint of Angels and Demons thrown in.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful