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Imperial Passions: The Porta Aurea

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4.53  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  8 reviews
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 until 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 the handsome young soldier, John Co ...more
Kindle Edition, 387 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Blachernae Books
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4.53  · 
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 ·  17 ratings  ·  8 reviews


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Jane
Marvelous evocation of middle Byzantine [11th century] history and civilization through the memoirs of Anna Dalassena, sister-in-law to one emperor and mother to another. Anna gives us a window into the lives of aristocratic Byzantines--mostly her own and her extended family--and others close to the throne. I really felt I was transported to that time and place and really got a feeling for the characters' lives and emotions. The story covered the exile of Anna and her grandparents until the star ...more
Amy
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Meg - A Bookish Affair
4.5 stars. "Imperial Passions: The Porta Aurea" is the story of Anna. Although when the book opens, Anna is an orphan, her star rises throughout the book. Taking place in the 11th century Byzantine Empire, this book is full of palace intrigue and interesting characters. Anna is a great character to follow through all of the difficulties that her family faces. I really enjoyed this book!

Anna and the other secondary characters were great. I loved seeing how things shifted for Anna and her family t
...more
Kim Bakos
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
This book is not a quick, easy read, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Much of vocabulary of the book is foreign to me - I'm not up on the structure of the ancient Roman government, names of articles of clothing, etc... - so trying to understand and get contextual clues slowed down my progress. It wasn't until I finished the book that I discovered the glossary in the back of the book, but it wouldn't have been practical to keep flipping to it while reading anyway.
The love story of Anna and John
...more
Indiebrag
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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!
Susan Weintrob
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous historical novel

A fascinating look at the 11th century Byzantine empire through the eyes of a young orphan in a powerful family. The rise and fall of leaders, fortunes and empires are intertwined with our protagonists and the detailed knowledge of the author about this era. Food, fashion, travel, communication- all the details of daily life are included as are the roles and rights of men and women. I look forward to reading more by this author.
David
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spectacular

An excellent and engaging tale. While it is set in a historical era many may not be familiar with, it is very accessible. The only reason I hesitated to give it 5 stars was that it ended so suddenly; I wanted more.
Elysium
3,5 stars

I’m not very familiar with Byzantine so this was an interesting read. At times it was rather difficult trying to keep the characters in order since everyone seems to be named either Anna or Michael…

We see the young orphaned girl grow into a confident and strong woman. Her family is connected enough to the rulers to be caught up in the power struggles. The book covers Anna’s life from a teenager until her brother-in-law Isaac Comnenus’ coronation. Last year I read a book about Anna Dalas
...more
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I developed my interest in the Byzantines after reading John Julius Norwich's "A Short History of Byzantium", a delightful introduction to Byzantine history.

If you enjoyed these stories, please check out my website, eileenstephenson.com for the one I call the Missing Story - The Blinding of Roussel. It's the story of a Byzantine soldier of the 11th century.