Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tales of Byzantium: A Selection of Short Stories, by Eileen Stephenson, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

Tales of Byzantium: A Selection of Short Stories, by Eileen Stephenson, offers three short stories of war, love and conflict in the Byzantine era.  Book one tells of a young girl whose rightful position on the throne is usurped by her father who desires the throne for one of his sons. Helena had been betrothed as an infant to her scholarly husband. It was a marriage in name only until Helena decides she will no longer be overlooked.

Book two concerns a commander of military forces who is sent to save a town about to be under siege. The men under his command are nowhere near sufficient to handle the enemy's onslaught. Comnenus devises a very creative plan to outsmart the enemy, which allows him and his men to abandon the city (which is now without food and supplies) and travel home safely.

In the third book, Anna Comnena is consigned to a convent (royal speak for imprisoned at a convent). To occupy her mind she documents the history of her beloved father. Her tales remain critical to historians, providing valuable information on Byzantium to this day.

All three stories are told in a pleasant, matter-of-fact manner --likened to how a parent might explain complex history to their child. Horror, death, betrayal and deceit are explained simply and factually. This book offers a unique perspective on a fascinating era.  This is the way history lessons should be taught. The stories are based on fact, yet are marvelously complex and enjoyable. Eileen Stephenson regales readers with delightful story telling. Anyone with an interest in ancient history will ravenously devour these tales.  With only three short stories, this collection leaves the reader wanting for more.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval

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