Michael (Book Three of The Triptych Chronicle)


Twelve years ago, Michael Sarapion began a sea voyage with high hopes and dreams for success. The loss of his wife and daughter in a pirate attack leads him to forsake his God and to walk a path of vengeance. As head representative of the Venetian merchant house Gisborne-ben Simon, Michael is back in Constantinople, seat of the Byzantine Empire that is facing declining fortunes and where politics and intrigue go hand in hand. News that his daughter might be alive drives him, yet each of his traveling companions has reasons to be in danger in this bustling merchant city. As attacks become a daily occurrence and the race to find his daughter consumes him, Michael receives word of the pirate he seeks. With the rescue of his daughter, Michael is ready to load the ships and leave, but once again, God has other plans for him.

Constantinople provides a compelling backdrop for this historical adventure. Ms. Batten describes the harsh everyday life of the city residents, as well as detailing the historical feuds, jealousies, prejudices, and palace intrigue that defined the period. At the same time, she vividly paints the beauty of the surroundings and the artistry and craftwork of the people. While Ms. Batten provides the reader with a glossary of characters at the start, clearer introduction of characters in the story would lead to less confusion. In addition, the multiple uses of flashback would be better woven in the story through character dialogue rather than pages of italicized scenes. All in all, “Michael” is a gripping adventure that will engage readers of this genre!

Tricia Hill