We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Excerpt from The Shadow of God by Anthony A. Goodman, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Shadow of God

A Novel of the Siege of Rhodes

by Anthony A. Goodman

The Shadow of God by Anthony A. Goodman X
The Shadow of God by Anthony A. Goodman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2002, 500 pages

    Oct 2003, 464 pages


  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"The Sultan sleeps. The tabip will stay with him and feed him." He had used the Arabic term, tabip, for "doctor." He did not refer to Hamon by name in front of the soldiers. "The tabip will give the Sultan the medicine he needs for his pain. See that food is brought to the tent for our master and for the tabip. Leave the food outside the serai, and call the tabip to fetch it. Nobody is to enter the tent except I. Not even you. No one! Do you understand me?"

The Janissaries saluted their reply and resumed their position on guard. Each of these heavily armed young men would give his life for his Sultan without a thought. Nowhere on earth was there a more loyal personal guard than the Janissaries of the Ottoman Emperor.

Piri Pasha walked through the encampment, past the tents of his men. He spoke with his servants briefly. "The Sultan is asleep now, Allah be praised, and I am going to get some rest myself. He is well guarded, and I do not want his rest disturbed. Make that known amongst you."

Finally, he reached the perimeter of the camp, where the horses were tethered, and guarded by the Sipahis, the Sultan’s elite cavalry. These were the finest mounted troops in the world. Three hundred years earlier, Genghis Khan had conquered the earth from China to the shores of the Black Sea. His Mongol troops had ridden to the edge of Europe, and showed the western world a war machine the likes of which had never been seen before. The Khan’s mounted troops would ride two hundred eighty miles over rugged terrain in less than three days. When they arrived at their destination, without further rest, they were ready to fight. While riding at full gallop astride their powerful ponies, they could fire their armor-piercing arrows with deadly accuracy at two hundred meters. Mere rumors of the arrival of the Khan’s armies were enough to send their enemies scattering in panic before them.

Now the Sipahis would ride into battle as had the troops of the Khan. They, too, inspired such fear in their enemies that some battles were won at the news of their approach. Whole armies fled when they heard that the Sultan Selim’s Janissaries and Sipahis were marching in their direction.

Two Sipahis had been waiting for word from the Pasha for several days. During that time, they never left their post, nor did they sleep for more than an hour at a time. Their food was brought to them on Piri Pasha’s orders, and they were ready to move at his word.

Piri moved through the camp, appearing to refresh himself in the brisk mountain air. He showed no sign of the terrible events of this day. More than ten thousand Janissaries and Sipahis were gathered in this camp outside the city of Edirne. The night was peaceful with the low noises and stirrings of a great orderly encampment. Water carts rumbled by, and night soil was removed from the latrines. Everywhere in the camp there was complete order. Tents were lined up in perfect rows; not a scrap of garbage ever hit the ground.

Cooking fires crackled under giant copper pots. Piri could hear the quiet murmur of men talking in respectfully low voices, lest they disturb the sleep of their Sultan. Nowhere was laughter heard, for this might incite the wrath of the Pasha at this terrible moment in his Sultan’s reign. Smoke drifted through the trees, and among the tents. The wind carried the smoke away from the camp, down along the fading green hills of that early autumn evening. There was a softness in the air that would soon be replaced with the cold, wet winds of winter.

Piri approached the camp of the Sipahis, and settled himself near a trough where two of the horsemen were silently gambling with wooden dice by the light of their dying cooking fire. He stood a while and watched. In their uniforms and the settling darkness, all the soldiers looked alike. The two men had been handpicked by the Pasha. One Sipahi, Abdullah, was a young sword bearer. He was the best rider in his corps, and his was the best mounted corps on Earth. The other was not a Sipahi at all. He was Achmed Agha, Commander of the Army. Achmed had pulled a cape over his uniform, and looked for all the world like an older version of the Sipahi with whom he gambled.

Copyright 2002 by Anthony A Goodman. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form - except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews - without written permission in writing from its publisher, Source Books, Inc. www.sourcebooks.com.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    by Derek B. Miller
    Derek B. Miller's sixth novel, The Curse of Pietro Houdini, opens in the town of Cassino, Italy, in ...
  • Book Jacket: Our Moon
    Our Moon
    by Rebecca Boyle
    In Our Moon: How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us ...
  • Book Jacket: Neighbors and Other Stories
    Neighbors and Other Stories
    by Diane Oliver
    The history of American segregation, along with changes to it in the 1960s, is sometimes taught and ...
  • Book Jacket: Wild and Distant Seas
    Wild and Distant Seas
    by Tara Karr Roberts
    Tara Karr Roberts is a newspaper columnist who also teaches English and journalism. Wild and Distant...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Mockingbird Summer
by Lynda Rutledge
A powerful and emotional coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s by the bestselling author of West with Giraffes.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

  • Book Jacket

    by Roxana Robinson

    An engrossing exploration of the vows we make to one another and what we owe to others and ourselves.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)



Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.