The Byzantine Empire rules in Southern Italy, but the indigenous populations are restless. The Lombards are no exception - unwilling subjects to an overwhelming military empire - yet they have been too divided to threaten the hegemony of Constantinople. One of their number, Arduin of Fassano, is appointed by the young Byzantine general, Michael Doukeianos, to hold the key to Apulia, the vital castle of Melfi, unaware that Arduin intends to join his Lombard brethren and rise up in revolt, hiring to aid him the most-feared of all the soldiers in Christendom: the Norman mercenaries of Campania. Led by William de Hauteville, known as Bras de Fer, the eldest of five mercenary brothers, the Normans cross into Apulia intent on more than aiding revolt: they are seeking land and titles for themselves. Will the might of the Byzantine Empire crush Arduin's Lombard revolt? Will his ambitious plan succeed with the help of those great warriors, the de Hauteville brothers? Or will the treachery that stalks the land favour the Normans?
- Pages: 352
- Publisher: Allison & Busby
- Published: 16th November 2009
- Language: English
- ISBN: 9780749007553
- Category: Fiction
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