I am delighted to be a part of the book tour for; The Guardians of Byzantium by Justin Isaacs, this book sounds fabulous and I am thrilled to be sharing an exclusive extract with you all.

The Guardians of Byzantium by Justin Isaacs

Genre: Historical Fiction

“The year is 395AD, Theodosius the last sole ruler of the Roman Empire is dead. The Western Roman Empire falls under the control of the Vandal General Stilicho, regent to the child emperor Honorius, whilst in the East the adolescent Arcadius comes under the control of the Praetorian Prefect Rufinus.

When the murder of the Praetorian Prefect in front of thousands of witnesses goes unpunished, the Imperial Court of the East is plunged into chaos as senators and officials scheme and connive to gain the control of the Empire. Out of the chaos rises a eunuch, ruthless, hungry for power and determined to put his troubled past behind him.

The murder also triggers an army of barbarians commanded by a Gothic King to go on the rampage through Greece unchecked. In the midst of the carnage, a farmhand and army veteran make a journey to Constantinople to raise the alarm but become entrapped in the intrigue and street politics of the city.

Meanwhile, a young ambitious procurator discovers a plot that threatens to undermine the very fabric of the Roman Empire. With the help of a Persian moneychanger and a loyal Gothic bodyguard he follows the trail of clues deep into the underworld of Constantinople, and across the sea to Cyzicus, where strange happenings in the Imperial Mint raise more questions than answers.

Events come to a head in the Peloponnese when the Western Empire lands an army to remove the barbarian hoard from Greece, but Constantinople employs a daring political gambit which causes the two halves of the empire to lock horns in a battle, both sides vying for supremacy over the whole Roman Empire.

It is in these years, that the Guardians of Byzantium are born. A secret organization that guards the Byzantine Empire and keeps it alive for a thousand years after the West has fallen to the barbarians.”

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But Rufinus was untouchable. He controlled the army, the palace guard, the administration, and the emperor. And just to be doubly sure, he was never without his private bodyguard. There they sat on their horses, below the dais, amongst the slaves who held the reins of the mounts that the Imperial party would ride to inspect the troops. Eight large Hunnic warriors. Their fearsome reputation added to their imposing looks. Gainas though, himself a Goth. And he was not intimidated. He had battled Huns before. They were men, just as he was. They might follow the prefect around like a pack of hunting dogs, but run an arrow, a spear, or a sword through them, and they would die, just like anyone else. Without the bodyguards, Rufinus would be an easy target. Many members of the court who bustled around him today would not weep to see him dead.

Certainly, General Timasius would not. The old soldier stood behind the emperor next to his long-time friend and brother in arms, General Abundantius. Gainas knew them both by reputation long before his arrival at the capital and had briefly served with Timasius many years ago. He intended to get to know the two men much better. They had power and authority still, both very rich, and both very influential in the senate despite Rufinus’ attempts to dispossess them. Timasius was staring at the back of Rufinus’ neck with undisguised loathing.

Another who had positioned himself behind the emperor, was the eunuch Eutropius, the Praepositus Sacri Cubiculi. The chamberlain. He had the closest day-to-day contact with the Imperial family.

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