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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Edge Of Armageddon by Brad Graft is the culminating installment in The Brotherhood of the Mamluks Trilogy that gives you a detailed look at the Mamluks as a major component of Muslim armies and how they became a distinct feature of Islamic civilization. As Mongol forces continue to wreak havoc, three characters from the two previous installments are brought together. The once nomadic child Duyal has risen to become known as an Amir of Forty—a soldier who has earned the right to lead forty Mamluks in battle. Leander, the French lord who lost faith in the Crusader mission and has grown to admire the Islamic population. Baybars al-Bunduqdari, a man who has surfaced as the most capable Amir. The series also introduces Esel, a bowmaker sold to become a family slave but with the blood of a warrior running through her veins.
Brad Graft succeeds in creating three-dimensional characters which is essential when you are writing historical fiction. As for the setting, it is detailed enough to make you feel transported into the time when these slave-soldiers exercised military power vested in them. Hollywood has taught us that stories involving swords, axes, lances, and arrows are often entertaining. But the violence and war depicted in Edge of Armageddon is essential and not just for kicks. As Graft’s writing draws you in, you come to realize the leaps and bounds in its storyline above many of the historical spectacles that you have been watching or reading. The fact that this novel presents a look at Mamluk life with such detail is definitely worth reading. Lovers of historical fiction will enjoy sinking their teeth into this book.