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Publisher's Summary

The Crusades shook the world. But why did they happen?

Their origins are revealed in a new light. As part of a medieval world war that stretched from Asia to Europe. At its center was an ancient empire Byzantium.

Told for the first time as a single, linked narrative are three great events that changed history: The fall of Byzantium in the 11th century, the epic campaign of the First Crusade and the origins of modern Turkey.

Nick Holmes not only presents the First Crusade in a wider global context but he also puts forwards new interpretations of the original sources, suggesting that its success was in fact largely accidental, and that the central role of Byzantium in the Crusades has been underestimated.

©2019 Nick Holmes (P)2020 Nick Holmes

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  • Margaret
  • 23-11-2020

Learned a lot.

This is the first book I have read/listened to by this author. I found the book very informative and easy to understand. The information seemed to flow quite nicely and there were many things I learned from listening to this book. At several points I kept wondering why the guy in charge would keep leaving when the guy he left behind in his place continued to fail in their duties and allow themselves to be easily overtaken. This is the first book I have listened to by this narrator ( Martin Carroll ). I think he did a fine job reading this continent. His diction was clear, pacing good and he added a bit of expression so the material was not dry to listen to. There are no explicit sex scenes, or excessive violence. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review. Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

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  • Jan
  • 05-09-2020

The world of the Eastern Roman Empire

historical-figures, historical-places-events, historical-research, history-and-culture, crusades Much more than a fascinating lecture, it's a trip back in time to delve into the different peoples warring in the area of Byzantium in the Eastern Roman Empire until Byzantium collapsed in the eleventh century. It's obviously well researched but not dry or lifeless. It is helpful to have maps on hand, even if they are modern. Narrator Martin Carroll has not only the perfect natural voice, but a gift for cadencing to add to appreciation of the text. I won this audiobook in a giveaway!

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  • Mary Karowski
  • 26-08-2020

What a great history book!

I have to be Honest. While I live history especially that of all wars it was my sons virtual school assignment that made me immediately get this book. He was doing a history assignment on the crusades, what lead to them, the crusades themselves and their impact on spaciest now. I found my personal knowledge of the time period to be severely lacking and I have to say that this book is phenomenal. It covered all the bullet points mentioned in his assignment but to a depth and level far beyond what was needed for the assignment. The author wrote this in a fashion that kept one interested and yet delivered much valuable historical knowledge. The narrator had the voice of everyone’s favorite history professor. Cultured and interesting. Highly recommend. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

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  • Kim Jones
  • 19-08-2020

A good book about an often forgotten history

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review. This is an interesting and fascinating book about the often overlooked history of the fall of the Byzantine empire. It carefully guides the listener through the politics and battles of the waning days of that grand and crumbling empire. How so much at the end centered around the battle of Manzikert, and a betrayal there would ultimately lead to the fall of an empire. If you, like myself, have merely just a passing knowledge of the Byzantine empire as one that existed, and put no more thought behind it but are curious to know more, then I highly suggest this book. It is not dry enough to parch as history book can sometimes be, but breathes life into a nearly forgotten memory from the pages, and does a beautiful job in telling how the fall came to be.

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  • Anne Secher
  • 12-08-2020

The perfect writing style to make history engaging

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.* Thank you very much to the author and Audible for allowing me to read this book. 5 stars. This is a book for those who like history. A non-fiction history piece about the issues that took the Bizantine Empire down, the biggest heroes of the different battles and wars that took place, their deeds and some great conclusions. As the title of this review indicates, the writing style makes the book a light read that allows the topic much more accessible to the public. But this is certainly not the only advantage of this audiobook. Martin Carroll (great surname) keeps the reader engaged. His tone of voice and inflections imprint magic to the style and stories, making you feel as if you had gone back in time. All the information given is accurate as far as I'm concerned. I would certainly recommend this book and any other the author may write and/or the narrator has told.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 04-08-2020

History has not been kind to the memory of Romanus

This excellent read about the events leading to the Crusades in part helps to reprise Romanus' time, starting with his trial for treason, in which he admitted the intention and, rather than be executed, the 'best general in the army' was exiled by the senators, before being asked by the recently widowed Empress Eudocia to be Commander in Chief of the army, then her husband and Emperor. Meticulous research from multiple sources provides a balanced approach to all of the characters involved, from Romanus himself, the Doukai family and all who confronted the Empire. The author's narrative style provides a clear, fascinating and even exciting tale of these final years of the Roman Empire: history as it should be written, enjoyable and approachable even for someone with no knowledge of the era and sufficiently inspirational to make the reader want to find out more. Narration by Martin Carroll is clear, well modulated and easy on the ear. He does not get in the way of the text but rather, stands back to allow what is written gently come to life. A fine performance. This is a book for anyone with an interest in history, in the late Roman Empire or the Crusades themselves. I was very fortunate in being freely gifted with a complimentary copy of The Byzantine World War, by the rights holder, at my request, via Audiobook Boom Thank you so much. This was a period about which I had known almost nothing, despite my fondness for ancient Rome, fascinating, and I am left wanting to learn more, in addition to the book having enhanced my understanding about the conception of the Crusades. A good read, recommended.

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