Imperial Passions: The Porta Aurea by Eileen Stephenson
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 387 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
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?
My Review: I am pretty sure that I’ve made it abundantly clear how much I adore historical fiction. From the Tudor Era to the Civil War, from Ancient Rome to the Victorian Era, I love it all. But the Byzantine world? That is new ground for me. And one that I was so excited to jump into, when Imperial Passions came across my review desk.
And I loved every. single. flipping. chapter.
Eileen Stephenson did a magnificent job of bringing all of her impeccable research to life with Anna Dalassena. The author treats her readers to Anna’s life, from girlhood to womanhood, from a child to an aristocrat. I was thrilled to see this historical period through Anna’s eyes. The novel is written from a first person perspective, which gives the readers the unique treat of being the proverbial fly-on-the-wall to all the happenings of Byzantine society. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect, for me personally, was the merciless world of palace politics that Anna finds herself in.
I was absolutely fascinated from the very beginning, and couldn’t put the book down to save my life. It is always such a treat, to find an author that resonates with me in that way. (And she will resonate with you, too!) I adored Anna (you will love her) and will carry her with me from this point on. I wish that I could hug the author breathless for creating such unforgettable characters, and painting such a memorable, hauntingly wonderful novel. A definite recommend!
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
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a beautiful Byzantine-style Sterling Silver Bracelet! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.