The Siege of Rhodes in 1522
As revealed yesterday, the hero of my next historical fiction novel is the great Italian military engineer, Gabriele Tadino. In a career of adventures so wild that most of them I had to leave out for fear readers would find them ludicrous, the highlight was his masterminding of the defence of Rhodes in 1522. The siege is the setting for my new historical fiction novel, due out next year.
During the siege, a force of 700 Knights Hospitaller, the last order of crusading military monks, and a few thousand mercenaries and Rhodians faced the full might of the Ottoman Empire. The sultan himself, Suleiman the Magnificent, had arrived on Rhodes in July with an army of over 70,000 men determined to pull this thorn from the side of his empire. During a six-month siege both defenders and attackers were pushed to breaking point. It is an extraordinary story, full of stories of amazing courage and vile treachery, in a time when science and magic contended upon the battlefield for real. I hope you will enjoy it.