Imperial Passions #1
The Porta Aurea
An epic story of love, power and betrayal in eleventh century Constantinople
At the center of Byzantine society, fifteen-year-old Anna Dalassena lives with her grandparents among the most powerful men and women in Constantinople. But the cutthroat imperial politics of the Great Palace sends the family into exile in a distant corner of the empire. Her bleak situation finally turns promising after meeting a handsome young soldier, John Comnenus, and his brother, Isaac, before they 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 deal with their own tragedies. When rebellion puts her life and those of everyone Anna loves at risk, is the reward – a throne for her family – too big a gamble?
All in all, Imperial Passions is an engaging read, allowing us to peep into a period and culture that is not depicted that often in historical fiction. Ms Stephenson is an excellent guide through the complicated Byzantine history and as one book does not suffice to tell the fascinating story of Anna Dalassena, I hope Ms Stephenson will be kind enough to furnish us with a sequel. Soon!
~ Anna Belfrage