I received "The Eagle and the Swan" for review purposes, after reading a sample which I really liked. The book, like the lives of Justinian and Theodora, had it's ups and downs. Possibly a bit too many details of Theodora prior "occupation",but it does explain the narrator Fabianus. All in all I like it a lot and will look forward to the sequel.
A well written and researched tale of two important persons in the last days of the Roman Empire. Justinian, sometimes called the "Great" was born into a Latin speaking peasant family in what is now Serbia. All of that information was delightful. It is a era I like a lot.
Justinian's judicial reforms have importance today, especially his protection of women who were abused. Surely that speaks to his marriage to Theodora and why Fabianus told her story in the book.
Hopefully in the next volume we will hear more of Justinian's voice.
Recommended for ancient history fans as well as those of us who really enjoy stories of Roman life.
Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/Tour Hashtag: #EagleandtheSwanTour
Publication Date: November 7, 2013
ASIN: B00GIR54MI For 1,500 years she has been cruelly maligned by history. Labelled as corrupt, immoral and sexually depraved by the sixth-century historian Procopius in his notorious Secret History, the Byzantine Empress Theodora was condemned to be judged a degenerate harlot by posterity. Until now. Due to a conviction that its contents would only be understood by generations of the distant future, a manuscript that has remained unopened for a millennium and a half is about to set the record straight. It will unravel the deepest secrets of a captivating and charismatic courtesan, her unlikely romance with an Emperor, and her rise to power and influence that would outshine even Cleopatra. This historical novel traces the love affairs, travails, machinations, scandals and triumphs of a cast of real characters who inhabit an Empire at its glorious and fragile peak. It’s the tale of a dazzling civilization in its Golden Age; one which, despite plague, earthquakes and marauding Huns, would lay the foundation for modern Europe as we know it.
Praise for The Eagle and the Swan“It’s a book rife with detail and passion. If you like historical fiction this book hits on all cylinders. The level of detail in terms of prose and historical relevance is engaging. And THEN the plot is what’s moving. The love and lust combined with a compelling story, taking on universal themes from a cross section of history, makes for a gripping work.”
“Carol Strickland has written a masterful epic. It is beautifully crafted and impossible to put down.”
“Beautiful storytelling. Fascinating and well-developed characters. What an interesting time in history! This book was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The Eagle and the Swan is a must-read!”
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About the Author
While writing on masterpieces of Byzantine art (glorious mosaics in Ravenna, Italy featuring Theodora and Justinian and the monumental Hagia Sophia basilica in Istanbul built by Justinian), Strickland became fascinated by the woman who began life as a swan dancer and her husband, an ex-swineherd.
Knowing how maligned they were by the official historian of their era Procopius, who wrote a slanderous “Secret History” vilifying them, Strickland decided to let the audacious Theodora tell her story. She emerges not just as the bear-keeper’s daughter and a former prostitute who ensnared the man who became emperor, but as a courageous crusader against the abuse of women, children, and free-thinkers.
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Virtual Book Tour ScheduleThursday, March 13
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, March 17
Review at Reading the Ages
Wednesday, March 19
Review at Unabridged Chick
Thursday, March 20
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Monday, March 24
Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, March 25
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, March 26
Guest Post at Kelsey’s Book Corner
Monday, March 31
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, April 2
Review at Book Drunkard
Friday, April 4
Review at Just One More Chapter
Monday, April 7
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Wednesday, April 9
Review & Giveaway at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Thursday, April 10
Review & Giveaway at Curling Up By the Fire
Friday, April 11
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, April 14
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Tuesday, April 15
Guest Post & Giveaway at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Wednesday, April 16
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Thursday, April 17
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection