Product Details
List Price:
14 to 17
9 to 12
Trim Size:
5.5" x 8.25"
Front Street
ISBN-13: 978-1-88691-088-1

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About the Book


Famished, terrified, exhausted, a boy drops from the tree in which he has hidden just as Constantine, last Emperor of the Romans, is about to receive his crown in a monastery garden. By this accident. Piers Barber, a shipwrecked young seaman from Bristol, England now renamed Vrethiki ("lucky find"), becomes an unwilling talisman to the Emperor, for it has been prophesied that if even one person who is at his side when he takes the crown stays with him always, the City will not perish.This is the story of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and of the siege that marked the end of the proud, ancient Byzantine Empire. Corrupt, riven by bigotries, jealousies, and national vanities, the City nevertheless commanded such bravery and loyalty as the world has seldom seen. Through the darkening months, Vrethiki is bought out of his sullen despair as he lives in the midst of heroism and treachery, dogged endurance and blazing faith. And in time he comes to see the City as a vision worth dying for and the Emperor as his own true lord.

Meet the Author

Jill Walsh

Jill Paton Walsh was born in London and was educated at Oxford. She currently lives in Cambridge where, with John Rowe Townsend, she runs a small specialist imprint, Green Bay Publications. She is the author of many award-winning books for children. She won the Book World Festival Award in 1970 for Fireweed; the Whitbread Prize in 1974 for The Emperor’s Winding Sheet; the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 1976 for Unleaving; the Universe Prize in 1984 for A Parcel of Patterns and the Smarties Prize Grand Prix in 1986 for Gaffer Samson’s Luck.

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