"The author is familiar with every aspect of Hittite culture." -- O.R. Gurney, Hittite scholar and author of "The Hittites"
By Janet Morris
Perseid Press (534 pages, October 27, 2014, $29.95 in trade paperback)
Cover art: The Seal of Suppiluliumas
This masterpiece of historical fiction was based on the actual writings and historical records of Suppiluliumas I, the great Hittite king who dominated the Middle East around the 14th century, BC. He rebuilt the old capital of Hattusas, and from there exercised his Imperial Power over the Hittite heartland, controlling the lands between the Mediterranean and Euphrates. But he was not a king to sit back on his throne and pull the strings of his minions, advisers and subjects. No, he was hands-on, and long before he became king he made his way in the world, fighting and whoring and playing politics. His military career included dealing with the eastern kingdom of Mitanni, and regaining a solid grip on Syria. [...]
In I, The Sun, Janet Morris weaves a brilliant, sprawling tapestry of events in the life of this great king of the ancient world, whom we first meet when he is known by his birth-name, Tasmisarri. This historical novel, cleverly written in first-person to stand as the official autobiography of Tasmisarri/Suppiluliumas, begins with the death of his father, the Great King Arnuwandas. Since Tasmi cannot sit the throne until his majority, his uncle Tuthaliyas inherits the crown. But so much can happen until Tasmi comes of age, and so, to keep his own brothers from killing each other -- and him, and thus seizing the throne, Tuthaliyas adopts Tasmi and makes him his heir. [...]
From that moment on young Tasmi is [...] caught up in court intrigue, surrounded by enemies and sycophants, becomes embroiled in one military engagement after another, and grows to become a major player in the game of empires. [...]
Janet Morris truly nails the history; the settings, traditions and customs of the various people in this part of the ancient world, the very grandeur of their era ring true with the vivid poetry of her writing. This is a well-executed and thought-provoking historical novel, filled with character drama, romance, tragedy, action, plot and counter-plot. There is a certain power that comes through while reading this novel, a power derived from knowing that this is real life as it was lived nearly 2000 years before Christ, told to us by a master of storytelling and history. -- Black Gate