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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Book Review: Tales of Byzantium by Eileen Stephenson

Tales of Byzantium: A Selection of Short Stories by Eileen Stephenson
e-Book, 152 pages
May 2, 2015

Genre: Historical Fiction, Short Stories

Source: Received from author/publisher for HFVBT tour stop
A young empress defies her powerful father for love and her rightful place on the throne.

A charismatic commander takes the gamble of a lifetime to save the lives of thousands of innocents.

An exiled princess finds a new sense of purpose and creates a legacy that will stand through the ages.

These stories provide a glimpse of the dynamic and proud Byzantines who lived during the height of the empire’s splendor.

I am a fan of short stories and especially those that bring in interesting locales and time periods. Tales of Byzantium takes us through three different time periods of Byzantine history and whets the reader’s appetite for more!

This is certainly not a location that receives a great amount of fictional treatment, and I think that is a disservice. Byzantine history is full of so many interesting figures and events that it is ripe for a novel – however I think what might keep some away from this time/place is that not as many people are familiar with it and because so much of what took place was intimately tied into religion. Having recently taken a course on Byzantine History for my Masters program, I was very familiar with the Emperors and characters featured in these stories, however many would not be. I find it interesting that when writing on a location that is not frequently visited in fiction, the author chose to write about some of the lesser known of the Byzantines. Very interesting choice, but well executed. Considering that these were just short stories, I appreciated that the author gave an Author’s Note after each chapter to set the story within history, considering that most people will be unfamiliar with the timeline, this is very helpful.

Of the three stories, I found the first and second to be the most interesting while I could have done without the third (this however does not seem to be the case with all readers). All three of the stories are essentially character studies, not too much really happens in any of them, however, the third I found plot to be relatively non-existent. The characters were intriguing and I would probably enjoy a whole story built around them, particularly the second story.

If you are at all interested in finding a different locale for your reading, I encourage you to check out this short story collection as well as explore Byzantine history. It is very similar to the Roman (Western) Empire that it will be familiar to you, but still new and exciting.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Find Eileen Stephenson: Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog

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On Twitter: #TalesofByzantiumBlogTour  #HistoricalFiction
Tour Wide Giveaway!

To win a Paperback copy of Tales of Byzantium by Eileen Stephenson please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.  Please note this is a tour wide giveaway and any issues/questions should be directed to the tour coordinator, not me.


  • Giveaway starts at 12:01am EST on December 14th and ends at 11:59pm EST on December 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open internationally.
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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