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The Lion House

The Lion House

The Rise of Suleyman the Magnificent


An immersive reconstruction of the life of the most feared and powerful man of the sixteenth century.

'Wolf Hall for the Ottoman Empire ... History at its most gripping' Telegraph

'A formidable book ... incredible' Rory Stewart

Venice, 1522. Intelligence arrives from the east confirming Europe's greatest fear: the vastly rich Ottoman Sultan has all he needs to wage total war - and his sights are set on Rome. With Christendom divided, Suleyman the Magnificent has his hand on its throat.

From the palaces of Istanbul to the blood-soaked fields of central Europe and the scorched coasts of north Africa, The Lion House tells the true story of two civilisations in an existential duel and the rise of the most feared man of the sixteenth century. It is a tale of the timeless pull of power, dangerous to live with, deadly to live without.

'The most daring history book of the year. Unforgettable' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

'An urgent, immersive, present-tense gallop ... behind the bejewelled descriptive prose a thumping pulse of action tugs us through' Financial Times

'Luminous ... gripping ... truly magnificent' Spectator


  • There are books that enlarge the mind, there are books that enrich the soul, but rarely comes a book so beautifully-written and profound that it manages to do both
    ELIF SHAFAK, author of The Island of Missing Trees

About the author

Christopher de Bellaigue

Christopher de Bellaigue is the award-winning author of five books, including The Islamic Enlightenment, which was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction and the Orwell Prize for Political Writing in 2017.

As a reporter in the 1990s and 2000s, he covered the politics and invasions that shaped Turkey, the Middle East and South Asia for, among others, the Economist, Guardian and New York Review of Books. He has also made television and radio programmes and has lectured at universities and in boardrooms around the world.
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