Suleiman I (Ottoman Turkish: سلطان سليمان اول; Turkish: I. Süleyman, Kanunî Sultan Süleyman or Muhteşem Süleyman) or simply Solomon as a Biblical name; 6 November 1494 – 7 September 1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in the West and "Kanuni" (the Lawgiver) in the East, was the tenth and longest-reigning Great Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. Under his administration, the Ottoman State ruled over 20 to 30 million people.
Suleiman became a prominent monarch of 16th-century Europe, presiding over the apex of the Ottoman Empire's economic, military and political power. Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies in conquering the Christian strongholds of Belgrade and Rhodes as well as most of Hungary before his conquests were checked at the Siege of Vienna in 1529. He annexed much of the Middle East in his conflict with the Persian Safavids and large areas of North Africa as far west as Algeria. Under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and through the Persian Gulf.
At the helm of an expanding empire, Suleiman personally instituted major legislative changes relating to society, education, taxation and criminal law. His canonical law (or the Kanuns) fixed the form of the empire for centuries after his death. He was a distinguished poet and goldsmith; he also became a great patron of culture, overseeing the "Golden" age of the Ottoman Empire in its artistic, literary and architectural development.
Breaking with Ottoman tradition, Suleiman married Roxelana, a former Christian girl converted to Islam from his harem, who became subsequently known and influential as Hürrem Sultan. Their son Selim II succeeded Suleiman following his death in 1566 after 46 years of rule, thus beginning a long state of stagnation and decline during Selim II's reign. Suleiman's previous heirs apparent Mehmed and Mustafa had died, the former from smallpox and the latter had been strangled to death 13 years previously at the sultan's order. His other son Bayezid had been killed by his support and Selim's order in 1561 with four of his sons....LESS
From the acclaimed author of "Empires of Sand" comes a mesmerizing new adventure that Jean Auel cites as "crowded with events that both forecast and mirror the conflicts of today." Sweeping from the drawing rooms of Paris to the palace of Suleiman the Magnificent to the dark hold of a slave ship racing across the sea, here is a dazzling story of love and valor, innocence and identity, an epic novel of the clash of civilizations on a barren island where the future was forged.
The Mediterranean, the sixteenth century: Lying squarely in the midst of the vital sea lanes between the Christian West and the Ottoman Empire in the East, and ruled by the ancient Order of the Knights of St. John, Malta will become the stage upon which the fate of the world turns. For one of its sons, the hand of violence strikes swiftly, when young Nicolo Borg is seized by Barbary slavers and launched on a remarkable journey to the court of the supreme ruler of the Muslim world. Renamed Asha, plotting his escape even as he swears allegiance to the god of his masters and is schooled in the arts of culture and war, the innocent boy will be transformed into one of the Sultan's deadliest commanders.
For Nico's beloved sister, Maria, his loss fires her hatred for the knights who did nothing to save him and her dreams of escape from her stifling home. As the headstrong girl grows into a fierce beauty, she will capture the attention of one man in particular, Christien de Vries, a surgeon-knight torn between duty and desire, caught up in Malta's frantic preparations against the coming Ottoman storm. Around Nico and Maria are men and women who will share their destinies: Dragut Rais, a brilliant corsair, arch-rival of the knights...Giulio Salvago, a priest in full flight from his carnal nature...Alisa, a young beauty hidden away in a harem...Jean de La Valette, the master knight who is Malta's only hope for survival.
As the mighty Ottoman fleet bears down on the tiny island, as Nico Borg makes his way back to his homeland at the helm of a warship, Ironfire moves inexorably to a shattering climax where all will face ultimate justice in the murderous cauldron of siege warfare. Brilliantly capturing the crosscurrents of a storied age, Ironfire is historical fiction in the grand tradition, a stirring realization of a pivotal moment in time that irrevocably shaped the world we inhabit today.
"From the Hardcover edition."