Eagle's Daughter

Eagle's Daughter

by Judith Tarr
     
 

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Here in lush detail is the powerful story of the tenth-century Byzantine princess Theophano, who was sent to be the wife and Empress of Otto II, son of Otto the Great, the Holy Roman Emperor.

It is a long journey from the surviving Roman Empire in the East to the devastated Empire in the West. Theophano must apply all her Byzantine skills to truly become the

Overview

Here in lush detail is the powerful story of the tenth-century Byzantine princess Theophano, who was sent to be the wife and Empress of Otto II, son of Otto the Great, the Holy Roman Emperor.

It is a long journey from the surviving Roman Empire in the East to the devastated Empire in the West. Theophano must apply all her Byzantine skills to truly become the Empress of the West, winning first her new husband's devotion, and then the love of her new people,

But when Otto II dies unexpectedly, laving the empire to his four-year-old son, the Empress Theophano must fight one of the greatest wars of succession of the Dark Ages. For Otto II's cousin, Henry of Burgandy, would have the Regency for himself and the Throne as well—if he can take them.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This bland romance set in the 10th century is narrated by Princess Aspasia, young widow and ``scion of the Purple Chamber'' of Byzantium. Aspasia now attends her niece, Empress Theophano, wed at 18 to Holy Roman Emperor Otto II. The story opens with the crowning of Theophano's three-year-old son, Otto III, and plunges into a flashback. Both women had experienced the murderous intrigue of the Byzantine court; in contrast, their current daily round in Saxon Germany seems colorless and flaccid. Political events, fuzzily delineated, culminate in a power play by cousin Henry (``the Quarreler''), Duke of Bavaria, against baby Otto, whom he kidnaps so casually that any potential suspense is lost. The boy's grandmother and mother talk tough, and Henry backs off. Aspasia's own story centers on her love affair with passionate Ismail, a stern, respected Moorish physician from Cordoba whom she meets when Theophano has a fever. When their liaison is discovered, Aspasia is scolded by her confessor and Theophano, who hint that death could be the penalty for sinning with this ``dog of a Moor,'' though the lovers never seem in danger. Cameos of gossipy historian Liudprand of Cremona and Gerbert of Aurillac, a Gaullish monk who became Pope, show that Tarr (Throne of Isis) has done her homework. But when she writes of Theophano's nuptial banquet, ``the feast dragged itself into eternity,'' she could be describing this novel. (Apr.)
Brad Hooper
In its dotage, the barbarian-besieged and ungovernable Roman Empire divided itself into eastern and western halves, which quickly became two separate worlds, Latin and Byzantine. Tarr, who has written successful historical fiction before, revisits those two entities at the juncture of ancient and modern times--the tenth century, to be exact. Her fully realized novel resuscitates an authentic historical figure, Princess Theophano, daughter of an emperor of the eastern half of the old empire and wife and mother of emperors of the western half. The contrasting atmospheres of those two separate sovereignties are re-created with telling and authentic detail. Transferring her talents from her native eastern half to her adopted western half, Theophano becomes an important factor in the survival of her young son on the shaky western throne. The complicated politics of the time are handled with lucidity and color.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812550832
Publisher:
Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date:
01/15/1996
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.09(d)

Meet the Author

Judith Tarr is the author of more than twenty widely praised novels, including The Throne of Isis, White Mare's Daughter, and Queen of Swords, as well as five previous volumes in the Avaryan Chronicles: The Hall of the Mountain King, The Lady of Han-Gilen and A Fall of Princes (collected in one volume as Avaryan Rising), Arrows of the Sun, and Spear of Heaven. A graduate of Yale and Cambridge University, Judith Tarr holds degrees in ancient and medieval history, and breeds Lipizzan horses at Dancing Horse Farm, her home in Vail, Arizona.

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