Gregoras Lascaris - soldier, mercenary, a man with secrets who is about to go back to the city responsible for the mask he wears and his exile. Theon Lascaris - his twin brother, though as different from Gregoras as day is from night. Sophia Lascaris - married to one brother while in love with the other. Leila - fortune teller, some would say witch, knows where her destiny lies and is willing and able to help it along. Mehmet - young Ottoman leader who wants to be the one who finally breaches the Byzantine walls. These characters, the others they come into contact with, and the rich vivid details - from the historical context to the smells to the setting - all combine to make A Place Called Armageddon a great read. Once I started reading the book, I found it hard to put down and certainly didn't want it to end.
The city of Constantinople is facing its twilight. A Place Called Armageddon tells the story of that twilight through different characters - both high and low - on both sides of the story. It has a little bit of something for everyone - great characters, vivid details, the strengths and weaknesses of everyone, historical background, and everything bundled up in a fast-paced work of fiction.
Gregoras had vowed never to return to Constantinople, the cursed home that had betrayed and scarred not only his mind, but his face, for all to see. But now with 100,000 Muslim soldiers outside its walls, he can hear its desperate calls for his help, as it can only be held by men and mercenaries as skilled in battle as Gregoras, of which few remain.
His return home, though, will mean not only having to face the constant hum of arrow and cannon, but also Theon, twin brother...and betrayer. And with him his beloved Sofia, lost when Gregoras was cast from his home, now bound to Theon in marriage. But the rewards of victory would not only be the glories of the battle, but the redemption of his name and his soul.