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The sheen on the silk : a novel
Anne Perry
Adult Fiction PERRY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A battle between 13th-century religious factions forms the crux of this interesting departure for mystery novelist Perry (A Christmas Promise). Disguised as a eunuch, physician Anna Zarides arrives in Byzantium to learn why her brother has been accused of murdering Besarion Comnenos, a man with significant aristocratic and political ties. As she ministers to the emperor Michael Palaeologus, the Orthodox bishop Constantine,Åthe Medea-like Zoe Chrysaphes as well as Arab, Jewish, Italian, and Greek tradespeople, she learns of the bitter divisions between Orthodoxy (whose followers do not believe in the Holy Spirit) and the Latin rite (whose followers do), as well as a power struggle among the emperor, the king of Naples and the Two Sicilies, and the pope. As the danger, betrayals, and dead bodies mount, Perry conveys an earnest message about obsession, sacrifice, and faith at a dazzling crossroads of East and West civilizations. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In the 13th century, one city stood between the Holy Roman Empire and the Holy Land: Constantinople. In a switch from her Victorian mysteries, Perry (Buckingham Palace Gardens) weaves a complex and richly layered tale against this exotic backdrop. Anna, a young physician, comes to the city disguised as a eunuch to learn the truth behind the exile of her twin brother, who was implicated in a murder. No simple task, it takes years for her to work her way up through the many layers of Byzantine society until she is in a position to gain the truth. As her story unfolds, Constantinople struggles against internal and external forces in order to remain true to the Orthodox faith that set it at odds with Rome, all the while preparing for the next crusade. Like Judith Tarr in The Eagle's Daughter, Perry brings to life a lesser-known time and place. Both the mystery and the love story are enjoyable, but it is the city itself that is the true star. Verdict Fans of historical fiction and Perry's historical mysteries will enjoy this.-Pamela O'Sullivan, SUNY Brockport (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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