Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A Byzantine Review

Taking a break from Books for Boys (which I'm still working on at work), at home I just finished reading the YA book, Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett (with the help of the real Anna Comnena's histories).

Having always been enamored with historical fiction (the perfect combination of literature and history, my two great loves!) I enjoyed this book quite a lot. It details the young life of Anna Comnena, a Byzantine princess (and former heir presumptive) from the eleventh century, and how she fought for and eventually lost her throne. (yes, I just gave away the ending- I feel no remorse spoiling something that already happened in real life) The book is very emotional, with the reader knowing what is 'right', and hoping that the characters make the right decisions (which they often don't), and hoping that everything will turn out all right in the end with a Happily Ever After (it doesn't- well, not in the way that one would think, but you'll have to read the Author's Note on Anna Comnena at the end of the book to find out how).

I really enjoyed this book as much for the writing as for the historically based subject matter. The descriptions could have been a little bit better- someone who has no knowledge of the Middle Ages might have a little difficulty figuring out what everything is supposed to look like- particularly the clothes. Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone- boys included, as there is no lack of male characters in the book.

No comments: