The Phoenix Reborn: Chronicles of the Byzantine by Ujjwall Uppuluri
A personal message from the author:
I had always been interested in fictional literature—more specifically science fiction and fantasy novels and counterfactual historiography. I thought why not create a novel that combine my interest in alternate history with my interest in fantasy. As strange as it sounds, in middle school I had a dream and it left such an impression on me that I decided I had to put what I had dreamt about on paper. Of course, that was back in middle school and as my writing ability matured since then and the plot has changed quite significantly though the essence of what I had dreamt is still present in this novel.
— Ujjwall Uppuluri
It’s the year 1071, and the Roman Empire is on the verge of collapse. Romanos IV Diogenes, the emperor, is overthrown by his military general Michael Ducas as nobles rise against the state. Smelling blood, and encouraged by the chaotic state of affairs in Constantinople, foreign powers vie to crush the once-mighty Empire. But not all is lost, yet. The Sword of Emperors, home to an ancient spirit, transports itself to another time and place hoping to find a worthy champion. Ending up in modern-day New York, it lands at the feet of the most unlikely candidate.
Anil is a homeless, ex-operations commando making a living on the streets. Feeling the weight of his failures, all he wants is a chance at redemption. When Providentia, the spirit of the sword, appears to him, it shakes his world. Eager to redeem himself and to make his mark, he accepts the spirit’s request for help. Transported to 1071, he is the Roman Empire’s only hope. Will Anil survive long enough to prove himself and restore glory to the Empire or die trying? Through the lens of Anil and various historical figures, we are taken on a journey entwined with Imperial Constantinople, Hungary, Italy, the Near East, Persia and the Levant.Amazon