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 empire. 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?
Table of Contents
Map of Constantinople
List of Main Characters
Chapters 1 to 24
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Imperial Passions is the first book I have read by Eileen Stephenson. It will not be the last. I thought this was a great historical. I enjoyed the vivid details of the Byzantine era. I am not too familiar with this era, so it was a refreshing to read something new. I give Imperial Passions four and a half stars. I recommend it for readers who enjoy reading historical fiction. It is one that should not be missed. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
We are proud to announce that IMPERIAL PASSIONS: The Porta Aurea by Eileen Sedphenson is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells readers that this book is well worth their time and money!
Anna Dalassena, in addition to being a fascinating character in her own right, is the perfect window on the Byzantine world. As she grows from girlhood to womanhood, taking her place in that world as a wife, a mother, and an aristocrat who is very much a player in the tangled web of Byzantine politics, we see Constantinople through her eyes, and she is an intelligent and observant guide. Through Anna, we see the great historic events of the times, juxtaposed with intimate domestic events. These perspectives, combined, provide the reader with a rich and varied experience of this fascinating and complex world, full of wealth, intrigue, violence, and betrayal, as well as love and grief and tenderness. We watch Anna grow into a remarkable woman, courageous and decisive, and fundamentally decent even in the face of rampant greed and cruelty. The author has an encyclopedic knowledge of Byzantium, its personages, historical events, and its physical attributes. Readers are in good hands here. Both the glossary and the list of characters are welcome tools, especially since given names tend to repeat in this culture, leaving us with multiple Marias, Michaels, Johns, and Annas, for example. To her credit, the author manages this deftly, making it easy for the reader to distinguish among these characters. The ending is satisfying, but at the same time suggests more to come. I hope so—I look forward to seeing more of this world, and more of Anna Dalassena.