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Summary

From the rough highlands of Scotland to the crumbling majesty of Constantinople, a gripping historical novel written and read by TV historian and broadcaster Neil Oliver.

In 15th-century Constantinople, young Prince Constantine, heir to the Byzantine throne, is left permanently crippled when he saves the beautiful Princess Yaminah from falling to her death in the Hagia Sofia. Meanwhile in Scotland, John Grant, a young man with unusual abilities, is rescued from certain death by a formidable Moorish warrior whose own life was once saved by John's father.

Unbeknown to them, John Grant and Prince Constantine share a unique connection - a connection that lies at the very centre of their beings.

When fate orchestrates that their paths should cross, the repercussions will be felt across the continents.

©2015 Neil Oliver (P)2015 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"Impeccably researched - of course! - and deeply enjoyable. Goes down in a big, delicious gulp of action and mystery, with a taste of romance." (Diana Gabaldon)

What listeners say about Master of Shadows

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Enthralling

I loved this novel which reminded me a little of Dorothy Dunnett's wonderful books. However I did struggle with it in audio form and feel, with its jumping in time, it would be easier to follow in book form. I enjoyed Neil Oliver's use of language and really liked his voice but there was no pause between chapters and slight pauses, especially when a new chapter takes you to a different time or place in the story, do help when listening rather than reading what is a fairly complex narrative. Personally I love the blend of history and the supernatural and the author's version of Jeanne d'Arc's life. His writing let me "see" all the action (though some of the bloodiest scenes made my stomach clench!) and I think this would make a great film. I would certainly be keen to listen to another book by Mr Oliver.

5 people found this helpful

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A stunning, sweeping epic

I absolutely loved this book. It's a sweeping epic of a story spanning a continent and several lives. It is woven together by a beautifully crafted narrative and made all the more appealing by Neil Oliver's performance.

This is the best book I've listened to in a long time.

5 people found this helpful

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A tremendous book

Beautifully written. Full of exquisite historical detail as you would expect from Neil Oliver. I read it wanting to know more about the Byzantine age but came away with so much more.

1 person found this helpful

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A captivating story.

A well written story beautifully told, a fascinating glimpse of a moment in history. My only grumble is that the very end seemed a little rushed, it took me by surprise.

1 person found this helpful

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Disjointed Warrior Tale

Set in the 15th century It starts with a prologue -a woman jumps from a tower. Then there's a young boy John (who lives with his mother), and a bear of a man -Badr who is a warrior. We discover Badr knew the boy's father, so the two eventually come together. Separately a new strand starts up with the story of John's mother. The writing is evocative and I can see how the author tries to weave the story together. At times it is emotional, but I found it really confusing to follow on audio and wasn't interested enough to finish it. Read by the author, he has a strong, clear voice but the production wasn't great as there was no pause between chapters. I often didn't realise a new chapter started and this added to my confusion. Overall disappointed with what could have been a heartfelt story of past times.

1 person found this helpful

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genius

I really like Neil's work anyway..to find this is a very happy surprise..terrific!
Great. thanks

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Fantastic Story and Wonderful Narration

This story is chock full of fascinating historical insights and intriguing characters. The plot flows smoothly, rich in details but never excessively drawn out.
The narration is excellent, Neil Oliver’s smooth talking manner and clear Scottish accent allow one to really sink into the story without the distraction of character voices or faked emotions.
Very highly recommended for anyone who enjoys historical fiction and unexpected plot twists.

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fantastic tale.

I enjoyed this story immensely. Well written and with a good few surprises along the way.

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Highly recommended.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Great, easy to listen to , narration from Neil Oliver himself. The writing was so descriptive I was drawn into the story - wonderful.

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What utter rubbish

I thought I was getting a historical fiction novel not superstitious/mythical rubbish. Gave up after2 hours.