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A Flame in Byzantium (Atta Olivia Clemens, #1)
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A Flame in Byzantium (Atta Olivia Clemens #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  471 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's A Flame in Byzantium chronicles Atta Olivia Clemens during the reign of Justinian.
ebook, 480 pages
Published October 15th 1988 by Tor Books
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Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Flame In Byzantium is the first novel in the Atta Olivia Clemens trilogy by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. The trilogy is a spinoff of Yarbro's Saint-Germain vampire series, in which Olivia Clemens was one of Saint-Germain's lovers.

I've had this novel and most of the Saint-Germain novels on my bookshelves for years, but for some reason, never placed them high on my reading list. However, I tackled A Flame In Byzantium specifically so I could participate in a reading challenge for the 2013 Monthly Keywo
The fact that Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's St. Germain/Atta Olivia Clemens novels are still available gives me great hope that the vampire genre hasn't been utterly decimated by daggered brotherhoods driving Escalades and defanged sparkly pretty boy stalkers. Yarbro's books are for the vampire conosseiur (or snob if you will). Yes, her main characters are vampires, but there's an interesting juxtoposition between these monsters and the human ones who tend to be far more horrific and bestial in their a ...more
Another book featuring Olivia. In some ways, the Olivia books are far more tragic in tone than the Count books. Perhaps this is because of the fact that Olivia is an outsider in two ways, as a woman and as a vampire. The Count, for instance, never had to deal with treatment like that which Drosos presents to Olivia.
Timothy Boyd
An OK historical fantasy story. I just don't seem to be a fan of this writer's works. Recommended
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the very first book I read by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, when I was in college (circa 1988/9). I had recently completed a couple of history classes regarding Early Western Civilization, including a challenging course called the History of Law and Justice in Early Western Civilization. I was so pleased to read a novel that fit so well into my recently broadened understanding of history. Yarbro's book is well-written, engaging and powerful. It is much more a historical/political fiction with a ...more
"I feel as if all our time is spent in terrible darkness, and that if we are fortunate, from time to time we stumble into a little light. If we are not too frightened of what we see, we huddle around it, like traders in the desert at their fires. But most are terrified or blinded, and they seek the darkness again, preferring that to—" She shook her head. "Forgive me."

The excerpt above summarizes this entire novel - it is the tragic tale of how a female vampire watches the evolution of a patrimon
Jul 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book looks good on the surface, but it felt like a slog (maybe just because I'm sick?) The historical fiction parts were interesting, but I spent the last half of the book thinking that the heroine was stupid because she kept waiting for permission to leave town when it was clear bad things were going to happen. Why not just flee in the night and lose your possessions but keep your life?
Feb 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have discovered that I am not such a fan of the books in the St. Germain series that involve the women in his life. With the exception of one, this series within a series is slower reading, and while the historical accuracy is the same, the books are not as driving as the ones concerning the Count alone.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie Collins
Not as interesting as the novels that focus on Saint Germain. I liked the interaction between Olivia and Niklos, but I didn't care anything about any other character. The historical details of Olivia's household were interesting, but overall I found the book dull and depressing.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This vampire series by CQY is one of my particular favourites and this title is still, for me, the best of the Olivia stories. In fact, this cover was my inspiration for a Chaos Costume at one of the Jersey Eastercons but I developed a raging migraine and couldn't participate!
Nancy Laney
Olivia Book 1
Samantha Brady
Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this one as much as the rest of the books. Olivia is one great character. I know the next book about her will be just as good.
I tried this one because I so enjoy the St Germaine series. There wasn't as much detail or character in this one for my taste. Guess I'll have to wait for the next St Germaine.
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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A professional writer for more than forty years, Yarbro has sold over eighty books, more than seventy works of short fiction, and more than three dozen essays, introductions, and reviews. She also composes serious music. Her first professional writing - in 1961-1962 - was as a playwright for a now long-defunct children's theater company. By the mid-60s she had switched to writing stories and hasn' ...more
More about Chelsea Quinn Yarbro...

Other Books in the Series

Atta Olivia Clemens (3 books)
  • Crusader's Torch (Atta Olivia Clemens, #2)
  • A Candle for d'Artagnan (Atta Olivia Clemens, #3)