Cherinne's Reviews > Far Away Bird

Far Away Bird by Douglas A. Burton
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really liked it

** spoiler alert ** I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of Far Away Bird and this book transported me right into Theodora’s Constantinople. Absolutely brilliant! I feel as if what the young Theodora saw and felt through her journeys, I saw it and felt as well. From the description of Constantinople’s streets, the great Hippodrome, the chariot racing competition, and even to the edge of Eastern Roman Empire in North Africa, Byzantium was richly detailed in this book.

And there’s more to that, the clash between monophysitism and dyophysitism (which is broadly known as Orthodox Christianity), the power struggle between the Imperator and the citizens of Eastern Rome who still held their belief of democracy due to their Greek background, the threat of foreign powers whom referred by the Romans as barbarian kingdoms yet definitely started to evolve into proper states, the imbalance of power and rights between men of status and women of humble origins.. shaped Byzantium and the world that Theodora lived in. No doubt, all of these will influence Theodora’s future policies when she finally became an empress.

There were many times where I felt like I’m at the edge of my seat reading Theodora’s tumultuous early life and that is because how well Douglas A. Burton weaved Theodora’s story. As a young woman, Theodora was far more ambitious, fearless, and hungry for more than any of her peers. Even as a child, Theodora’s daring personality outshine Comito, her older sister. And Theodora’s speciosa vi — just like Madame Glyceria described — attracted both opportunity and danger.

The personality and character development in some of the supporting characters were also well written. From the fearless and protective Maximina, the cowardice Hypatius yet kind-hearted, the charming Justinian, and to the wise Macedonia — just to name a few — were all interesting characters revolved around Theodora’s life. I’d also like to point out Douglas A. Burton’s brilliance at describing the “bird” which flew freely in the sky in Theodora’s mind as her own way of coping her own shame and guilt.

Such an enjoyable read! A solid 4.5 stars and highly recommended!
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Reading Progress

October 9, 2019 – Shelved
October 12, 2019 – Started Reading
November 1, 2019 – Finished Reading

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