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Escape From Byzantium

Please note that Withersin Press has gone out of business. As a result, Escape From Byzanium is no longer in print.

The author disguised as Simon Rosencreutz.

Winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher Silver Award For Fantasy/Science Fiction

Mark Mellon, the author, receiving the 2010 Independent Publisher Silver Medal for F/SF for Escape From Byzantium.


Simon Rosencreutz, a conscript officer in the Holy Army of the Revolution, wants nothing more than to escape from Zoorland, a strange, dangerous blend of revolutionary Russia and Iran. Saved at the last second from imminent execution, promoted and transferred from the hazardous front to the seeming safety of Byzantium, Zoorland’s capital, Rosencreutz finds himself rescued from death by combat only to be trapped in a nightmare of intrigue and suspicion, a moral quicksand of deceit, coups, plots, and counter-plots.

Rosencreutz must deal with strange, mysterious figures: the beautiful and enigmatic Euzhenie Makarova, the preposterous, avant-garde artist Kokoshka, the austere, suspicious prelate Basileus Ulyanov, and, most sinister of all, his demanding commanding officer, General von der Goeltze. Protection is offered, even friendship, but is it just for their own purposes? And only to betray him in the end?

Beset with conspiracy on every side, uncertain who to trust, and in constant mortal peril, Rosencreutz can only rely on his keen wits, deadly aim, and iron nerve.

Escape From Byzantium is a slam-bang action story, full of blood and thunder with a gangbuster climax that will leave you on the edge of your seat.


“Mellon does an excellent job dropping the reader right into the action and right into his interesting world.” –Adam Armstrong

“A short novel but very entertaining and packing enough to be fully satisfying. Five stars” –Liviu at

“Highly, highly recommended and a big positive surprise for me!” — Liviu Suciu & Mihir Wanchoo, Fantasy Book

Mark Mellon’s novella…is a real treat fans of genre fiction will absolutely love. Filled with military intrigue, religious zealots, and characters the reader will root for as passionately as a favorite sports team and others they will come to despise, Mark Mellon’s book is as captivating as it is entertaining…”—Shawn Oetzel, Tales Of The Talisman, Volume 6, Issue 2, 2010.