From the modern master of alternate history, a novel of a world dominated by a prosperous and democratic Middle East—and under threat from the world's worst trouble spot Senior investigator Khalid al-Zarzisi is a modern man, a product of the unsurpassed educational systems of North Africa and the Middle East. Liberal, tolerant, and above all rich, the countries and cultures of North Africa and the Middle East have dominated the globe for centuries, from the Far East to the young nations of the Sunset Lands. But one backwater area has festered for decades: Europe, whose despots and monarchs can barely contain the simmering anger of their people. From Ireland to Scandinavia, Italy to Spain, European fundamentalists have carried out assassinations, hijackings, and bombings on their own soil and elsewhere. Extremist fundamentalist leaders have begun calling for a “crusade,” an obscure term from the mists of European history. Khalid has been sent to Rome, ground zero of backwater discontent. He and his partner Dawud have been tasked with figuring out how to protect the tinpot Grand Duke, the impoverished Pope, and the overall status quo, before European instability starts overflowing into the First World. Then the bombs start to go off.
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Turtledove was born in Los Angeles, California. After dropping out during his freshman year at Caltech, he attended UCLA, where he received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977. In 1979, Turtledove published his first two novels, Wereblood and Werenight, under the pseudonym "Eric G. Iverson." Turtledove later explained that his editor at Belmont Tower did not think people would believe the author's real name was "Turtledove" and came up with something more Nordic. He continued to use the "Iverson" name until 1985, when he published his "Herbig-Haro" and "And So to Bed" under his real name. Another early pseudonym was "Mark Gordian." Turtledove has recently begun publishing historical novels under the pseudonym "H.N. Turteltaub" (Turteltaube means turtle dove in German). He published three books as Dan Chernenko (the Scepter of Mercy series). He has written several works in collaboration, including The Two Georges with Richard Dreyfuss, Death in Vesunna with his first wife Elaine O'Byrne, Household Gods with Judith Tarr, and others with Susan Shwartz, S.M. Stirling and Kevin R. Sandes. He is married to mystery and SF writer Laura Frankos. His brother-in-law is fantasy author Steven Frankos. He has three daughters: Alison, Rachel and Rebecca.