Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: Tales of Byzantium by Eileen Stephenson

Title: Tales of Byzantium
Author: Eileen Stephenson
Format: Fiction
Publisher: Self published
Publish Date: May 2, 2015
Source: I received a copy from the author.

What's the Story?:

From "Three stories of love, war, and destiny in medieval Byzantium.

A young empress defies her powerful father for love and her rightful place on the throne.

A charismatic commander takes the gamble of a lifetime to save the lives of thousands of innocents.

An exiled princess finds a new sense of purpose and creates a legacy that will stand through the ages.

These stories provide a glimpse of the dynamic and proud Byzantines who lived during the height of the empire's splendor."

My Two Cents:

"Tales of Byzantium: A Selection of Short Stories" is a collection of three historical fiction stories set in and around some of the figures of Byzantium. Each of these stories are different and they cover some of the rulers as well as others who left their fingerprints on the era. The author uses a lot of great historical detail in order to bring each of the characters at the center of each of these three stories to life.

My favorite story was probably the last one, which covers Anna Comenena, a woman who is being punished for seeking to overtake her brother's throne, which she feels is rightfully hers. I did not know much about Anna Comenena or the other characters in these stories and this book really whet my appetite to read more about the Byzantines! I love when one book can lead you to wanting to read more on the subject!

The writing of the book was very good. I think one issue with short stories is that there can be the temptation to dump information in order to bring the reader up to speed. There was a little bit of that done here and it bogged down the narrative a little bit. That being said, the historical detail that was included is great and interesting. I just wish that the stories have been a little bit longer to spread all of the information out so it didn't feel like information was simply being dumped on the reader. It's clear that the author did a lot of thorough research into her subject.

Although the stories were great, I especially enjoyed the author's notes that are found at the end of each story. The author gives a little bit of context as to who the historical figures that she was talking about  are and what happened to them. It gave me a greater appreciation for the characters that she chose to write about. I would love to see what this author does in the future, perhaps in a longer form novel!



  1. Thank you for the review on a subject I know little about. You've whetted my appetite to know more.

  2. I like the cover a lot! Not usually a fan of short stories though. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  3. It's really funny, I'm working on my review right now and the third story was my least favorite - I felt like nothing happened! I'm going to link to your review!


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