Imperial Passions: The Porta Aurea by Eileen Stephenson
At the center of Byzantine society, fifteen-year old orphaned Anna Dalassena lives with her grandparents among the most powerful men and women in Constantinople. But the cutthroat politics of the Great Palace sends the family into exile in a distant corner of the mepire. Her bleak situation finally turns promising after meeing a handsome young soldier, John Comnenus, and his brother Isaac, before the are finally permitted to return home.
The vicious power struggles, uprisings, and betrayals at the highest levels of the empire push Anna and John unwillingly into its center as they struggle to deal with their own tragedies. When rebellion puts her life and those of everyone she loves at risk, is the reward a throne for her family – too big a gamble?
I’m not very familiar with Byzantine so this was an interesting read. At times it was rather difficult trying to keep the characters in order since everyone seems to be named either Anna or Michael…
We see the young orphaned girl grow into a confident and strong woman. Her family is connected enough to the rulers to be caught up in the power struggles. The book covers Anna’s life from a teenager until her brother-in-law Isaac Comnenus’ coronation. Last year I read a book about Anna Dalassena’s granddaughter, also called Anna, and it was interesting to learn more about her younger years.
This was my first book from the author and I’m looking forward to reading more.
Published: Blachernae Books (April 24, 2018)
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
About the Author
I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, but after a peripatetic childhood ended up in the Washington, DC area, where I attended college, married, worked a day job in finance, and raised three children.
My first book, Tales of Byzantium, contains short stories taking place in the middle years of the Byzantine Empire. My second book and first novel, Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea, introduces Anna Dalassena, the extraordinary mother of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Comnenus, and an unstoppable force in her time.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, November 19
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, November 21
Review at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, November 22
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Friday, November 23
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books
Monday, November 26
Feature at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, November 27
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, November 28
Excerpt at Tea Book Blanket
Thursday, November 29
Review at Passages to the Past
Monday, December 3
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Tuesday, December 4
Interview at Passages to the Past
Thursday, December 6
Excerpt at Introvert Booklover
Monday, December 10
Review at Bookramblings