Title: Vienna's Last Jihad
Author: C. Wayne Dawson
Publisher: Katy Crossing Press
Acquired Via: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Release Date: October 20, 2013
Brash and brilliant, twenty year old Mathis Zieglar, Professor of Languages, faces an agonizing choice: should he fight the Turks who take his family hostage and move to destroy Vienna? Or should he betray his army to save his kin? Vienna’s Last Jihad is an historical novel set against the 1683 siege of Vienna.
Europe is balanced on a knife’s edge while Mathis, the man who holds its fate in his hands, struggles against powerful enemies: Father Sistini, a Jesuit who brands him a heretic and drags Mathis’ fiancée off to the Inquisition; a xenophobic city mob, who wants him dead for protecting a Hungarian soldier; but most dangerous of all, Captain Tyrek, a Muslim chieftain who will kill Mathis’ family unless he spies against his own army. One by one, Tyrek’s agents murder Mathis’ closest associates in an attempt to isolate him. As 138,000 Turks grind down Vienna’s 11,000 defenders with no relief in sight, Mathis’ only chance to save family and country is to use his wits, the ability to speak Tartar and the knack he learned as a child to leap, whirl, and strike.
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When I was given the opportunity to review Vienna's Last Jihad, I jumped on it because it is the kind of book that I miss reading. You see, I spent many years studying history, focusing on the conflict between Christianity and Islam, so finding a piece of historical fiction along the lines of my studies was very exciting. Since the majority of what I know about the conflicts between Europe and the Middle East comes from the Crusades, so the history surrounding the events of the story was mostly new to me.