The Painter of Souls
By Philip Kazan
Beauty can be a gift...or a wicked temptation...So it is for Filippo Lippi, growing up in Renaissance Florence. He has a talent - not only can he see the beauty in everything, he can capture it, paint it. But while beauty can seduce you, and art can transport you - it cannot always feed you or protect you. To survive, Pippo Lippi, orphan, street urchin, budding rogue, must first become Fra Filippo Lippi: Carmelite friar, man of God. His life will take him down two paths at once. He will become a gambler, a forger, a seducer of nuns; and at the same time he will be the greatest painter of his time, the teacher of Botticelli and the confidante of the Medicis.So who is he really - lover, believer, father, teacher, artist? Which man? Which life? Is anything true except the paintings? An extraordinary journey of passion, art and intrigue, The Painter of Souls takes us to a time and place in Italy's history where desire reigns and salvation is found in the strangest of places.
A Place Called Armageddon
By C.C. Humphreys
An epic new novel about one of Western civilisation's most traumatic events - the Fall of Constantinople...Constantinople. For a thousand years, the city was the heart of the vast Byzantine empire. Beloved of Greeks. Coveted by Turks.1453. The empire has shrunk to what lies within its no-longer magnificent walls. Yet for one man, Constantinople is the stepping stone to destiny. Mehmet 11, just twenty when he is anointed Sultan, brings an army of one hundred thousand, outnumbering the defenders ten to one, and the most deadly threat the city has ever faced - the largest cannon in the world. But a city is more than stone, its fate inseparable from its citizens'. Like Gregoras, mercenary and exile, returning to the hated place he once loved. Theon, his twin - and betrayer. Sofia, loved by two brothers, forced to choose between them. And Leilah, mystic and assassin, seeking her own destiny in the flames...