The High City

The High City

Book - 2009
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It is the early years of the reign of Basil II, who became one most successful, and most feared, Byzantine emperors. But for now, Basil rules as a co-emperor with his brother Constantine, and makes war on a would-be usurper, Bardas Phokas, son of a General who Basil supplanted.

Basil's most trusted troops are foreign mercenaries, the Varangian guard hired from the North.  Rus and Norsemen, Viking raiders and wild horsemen from the steppes, they fall upon the elegant city of Constantinople like wolves on a garden party.  Among them is the wily young son of an Irish slave, who comes to the notice of the emperor's wife. But being noticed by an angry emperor is not safe at all.

Publisher: New York, NY : Forge, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780765305596
0765305593
Characteristics: 316 p. ; 22 cm

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nerowolfgal
Jan 14, 2013

You have to read Holland with some attention. Her writing is almost like a film script, it is up to you to wonder ":Why would he say that?" or "Why would she do that?". She has a writing style that makes the reader do some work.

In this book the main character is VERY intelligent but very inarticulate, even to himself. He does not question why he does things but simply lives in the moment. You have to check the reaction of the people around him to see the profound effect he has on them.

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mexicanadiense
Jun 05, 2011

I enjoy historical fiction, I like books about Vikings and I am also very interested in Byzantine history and culture, all of which can be found in this novel. That said, I didn't find the characters or the situations all that compelling. I realize now I probably should have read the earlier books in the series, which may (or may not) add depth and enjoyability to an otherwise sterile and straightforward narrative.

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