There were moments when I thought I would not finish this book, as it rambles across timelines, locations and people. I did finish it though and was in the end glad I did. Like most, I was aware that ‘”Istanbul was once Constantinople”, but not a whole lot more. This work left me with a much better understanding of the impact and incredible legacy that Constantinople left on the world around it, both then and now. The author takes you on a journey – political, social, economic and very bloody, it’s rulers, their wars, their lives, their loves, combined with his own personal experience travelling with his then 14 year old son. Is this the best history of Constantinople you could read? Probably not, but it is perhaps a history that will get you thinking about taking that trip to Istanbul and experiencing what remains of the ghostly empire for yourself.