To sell my new novel, I need a synopsis, and to get any agent even to look at a synopsis, I need a short, punchy query. My problem is that the novel tells two main stories, on two different levels or scales: The City (Constantinople) vs. the Horde, and the (Muslim) Warrior and the (Christian) Princess. One is earth-shaking, the real history of how in 1402 Christian Constantinople was (barely) saved from the Turks for another 50 years by the utterly unexpected incursion of Timur (Tamerlane). The other just the attraction-repulsion story of two people, invented but meant to represent lots of real people. It's really hard to keep it short without leaving out everything important. But you deserve to know what it's about, so here goes:
In the summer of 1402 the temporary regent of Constantinople seeks to surrender to the Osmanli (Ottoman) siege, and frontier warrior Arslanshahin (“Lionhawk”) is sworn to deliver the key to the city, treasure, and a Christian princess, 15 year-old Theodota Palaiologina, to Sultan “Thunderbolt” Bayezid. The Turkish warrior, faithful to his Central Asian traditions and proud of his capacity for violence, is impatient to unload this slow-moving and exotic cargo so he can return to rapid caravan-raiding with his horse archers, while the princess imagines herself on a mission from God to convert the gazi and all the other Turks. But the destruction of sultan Bayezid by Timur (Tamerlane) at Ankara makes both objectives impossible, and warrior and princess are forced to find or create new destinies for themselves.