Without the impetus of Literary Guild selection which put. The Burnished Blade on the best seller lists in 1948, this new Schoonover novel seems unlikely to attain much popularity. Again a 1th century setting, but with concentration solely on the area around Constantinople -- where Turkish and Christian empires impinged -- this deals with a period of history confusing to the average unscholarly reader, and gaining little of clarity in the handling of the central story. Our hero, Michael, son of Nicolo da Montelupo, Venetian merchant, resident for years on the Turkish side of the Bosphorous, is virtually shanghaied into the Janissaries, a corps attached to the sultan, where lads won glory and a corps name, while their own names lay forgotten in the files. Nicolo died attempting to secure his son's release; he left his estate in the hands of his friend, Bernardi, also a Veonetian, with a lovely daughter, Angelica. Michael thought himself forgotten, cast off -- and eventually accepted the role of Turk, including the religion. But always, almost submerged but still alive, his Christian heritage kept a flame of what the Turks thought softness alive. When conflict surged into active war- and the Sultan's use of new inventions- canon and gunpowder -- won Constantinople for the infidel world, Michael was caught between two streams. He used now one guise, now the other; he ended a professed Christian, on the losing side, but he saved his guardian, and Angelica, and escaped to the Western world.... Sheer adventure, fully panoplied and highly colored, with two dimensional characterization, but fast pace of story.