Friday, February 6, 2015

The Sultan and the Khan by Richard Warren Field

The long awaited sequel to the award winning, and internationally acclaimed novel, THE SWORDS OF FAITH, has been released. THE SULTAN AND THE KHAN is not only a well-told story, it is a  sweeping journey into a turbulent era and a glimpse into the lives of the powerful men who dreamed of ruling this world.  

"They won't leave a soul alive, not a one of you,"the young student said from the doorway. Piles of scrolls and bound volumes cluttered the dimly lit room." Opening Sentences


Synopsis

The year is 1258. Mongol invaders have destroyed Baghdad, the spiritual capital of Islam. Resistance consists of small Muslim armies. Christianity, having seen its influence in the area weakened over the years due to the ultimately unsuccessful Crusades, faces the decision as to which side to support. 

The Sultan and The Khan dramatizes a tale of diverse characters swept up in bloody battlefields and political turmoil. This is the sequel to The Swords of Faith, winner of the Bronze Medal in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards, and finalist in both the 2010 USA Book News Award and the 2010 International Book Awards in the category of Historical Fiction.



Review
by

It is with great anticipation and that I have awaited the release of THE SULTAN AND THE KHAN by the late Richard Warren Field. For those of you who have read THE SWORDS OF FAITH, you will not be disappointed with this sequel. 

Hulegu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, and his hoard of mongol warriors is threatening to seize control of Baghhad, one more Islamic city to add to their ever-growing grasp on power. From Russia to Eastern Europe, many cities have fallen victim and no one has been able to stop them. A Turkish slave soldier named Baybars is a man bent on vengeance. All he wants is to return to Egypt and seize power from Qutuz, the man who drove Baybars into exile. But his plans are thwarted as the Egyptian army prepares to face off with the fast approaching Mongol army. 

The Sultan and the Khan is a wonderfully rich tale set amidst this turbulent, unforgettable historic confrontation. The story is told through five different viewpoints - Baybars, Hulegu, Hulegu’s general Kitbuqa, a Muslim scholarm and a Christian adventurer. Author Richard Warren Field's meticulous research and encompassing knowledge of this particular era adeptly brings to life this exotic story of religious turmoil. The brutality of the era, and the life or death choices each character makes are magnificently portrayed. It is very much about the search for truth and the religious paths followed. Who is right? Who is wrong? With his amazing insight into human emotion, the author clearly understood the trains of thought experienced by these historical figures. In an easy-to-read, flowing prose, I could not help but be completely absorbed by this wonderful, epic tale. Richard Warren Field has truly written one of the great books of our era. He knew how to breathe life into the characters, to make them sympathetic as well as hateful, and make them larger than life. And he did it with carefully chosen words, succinct, but vibrant.   

I first met Richard Warren Field through a critique group I ran for historical fiction. At the time, he was posting chapters of Swords of Faith. I was enthralled by his writing from the very first chapter, and eagerly followed each installment. In this way, I came to know this gentle, intelligent, kind man, and I became his biggest fan. When the novel was finally finished, it was with great joy that I congratulated him on its release, and I was very proud when I was asked to be read and review the book. When I learned SWORDS OF FAITH won the Bronze Medal in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards, and was a finalist in both the 2010 USA Book News Award and the 2010 International Book Awards in the category of Historical Fiction, I knew I was not alone in praising his work. Then, sadly, in June 2014, I learned of his passing. THE SULTAN AND THE KHAN was his last work. The world has lost a wonderfully gifted author, but the gifts of his work will live on in these two books. I urge you to read them both. They truly are unforgettable stories!

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