Author: Brad Graft Category:


*A Finalist for the Colby Award, which recognizes “a first work of fiction or non-fiction that has made a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations, or international affairs.”

Duyal, a teenage nomad living on the vast Russian steppe, is captured during a Mongol invasion and forced on a long, deadly journey into the war-torn Middle East. Purchased by a Kurdish prince in eastern Turkey, his destination is an Islamic citadel, filled with similarly enslaved strangers and one merciless instructor—a man determined to purge the weaklings from his ranks and forge the survivors into Mamluks, Islamic Knights unmatched in wielding sword, arrows and lance from atop Arabian steeds.

When Duyal becomes entangled in his instructor’s schemes and his mates witness another comrade’s unjust execution, the recruits can take it no longer. Their wrath is unleashed.

Chains of Nobility is the first book in the Brotherhood of the Mamluks trilogy. Set during the 13th century, the book is an immersive dive into the world of military slavery—a Muslim institution largely unheard of in the West, whose ranks ousted the Crusaders and Mongols from the Levant, preserving Islam.

Graft, a former U.S. Marine officer who served in Somalia, conveys to his characters an authentic understanding of combat and the hearts of fighting men. He brings to life the intriguing story behind the Mamluk Sword, the saber worn traditionally by Marines as part of the dress uniform. Based on exhaustive research that took the author to Mongolia and the Middle East, the book is filled with vivid cultural details, battle accounts, and realistic characters.

One hundred percent of the author’s income from the sales of this book will be donated to screened charities that support wounded veterans and families of the fallen.

“Debut author Graft’s historical novel follows a young, kidnapped nomad in the Middle East.  After a devastating attack by Mongols, Duyal is enslaved and taken from the steppe. His final destination is a citadel in the city of Hisn Kayfa in what is present-day Turkey. The citadel, much like Duyal, belongs to a powerful prince named al-Salih Ayyub. The plan is to turn Duyal, along with other captured boys, from wild children of the East into Mamluk warriors. The text abounds with evocative portrayals. . . there is an exciting urgency to Duyal’s survival and the greater question of what he will doo should he make it through the program. Excitingly illuminates an ancient class of warriors.”–Kirkus Reviews


See/Hear Graft media appearances:

Follow further series developments:

Brotherhood of the Mamluks Website