I think this novel firmly cements what books one and two in The Wanderer Chronicles have already begun to uncover: Theodore Brun might just be historical fiction's next big thing.
In the third instalment of this wonderful series we are thrust into the heart of eighth century Byzantium, a city tottering on the abyss that Theodore paints with such a fine brush he almost transports you there. The supporting cast vary from the emperor himself to a legless street beggar, and from king to pauper each character brings this city and novel to life. The research and background work that has gone into the world building must have been intensive and detailed, and there really is nothing so satisfying as a reader in knowing the author has done their research, and its even better when they have the prose to bring it to life.
And so on to Erlan, or Hakan, or whatever he is calling himself these days! If I think back on the characters that have stayed with me over the years: The Bloody Nine; Druss the Legend; Jorg Ancrath; Bernard Cornwell's Derfel, the thing that makes them so memorable is that they had such a force of personality that you almost know how they are going to react to a situation before they do, you root for them on every page and face genuine disappointment when finishing their story, knowing there will be no more. I think Erlan is a character that will stay with me, long after this brilliant series draws to a close.