Amid the danger of political turmoil, Anna moves within circles of intrigue and murder...
Anne Perry's The Sheen on the Silk is an epic historical novel with a heart-stopping love story at its core, set in the gorgeous, cosmopolitan and enlightened city of Byzantium, in the twilight years of its Empire. Perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and Susanna Gregory.
'Remarkable . . . [Anne Perry sets] an engaging personal story against a rich backdrop of events to convey the intrigue and extreme peril that characterized the struggles between the faiths of the countries bordering the Mediterranean in the thirteenth century' - Star-Ledger
1273 - the gorgeous, cosmopolitan and enlightened city of Byzantium is in acute danger. Only an alliance with the Church of Rome will stop the crusading fervour of the Italian and French troops on its borders, determined to strike through Byzantium to reach Jerusalem. Faced with the prospect of surrendering its gentile Orthodox theology to Roman Catholicism, the city is in turmoil as opposing factions seek to assert their authority.
For Anna, the brutal conflict only echoes her own life. Recently arrived in Byzantium to find out why her brother has been exiled for a murder she believes he did not commit, Anna is forced to pose as a eunuch so that she can move freely in all levels of society. As she does so she finds herself in the middle of intrigues that may not only free, or condemn, her brother, but will also determine the fate of Byzantium itself.
What readers are saying about The Sheen on the Silk:
'The setting was magnificent'
'The Byzantine court, its people and its problems both internal and international make for an intelligent and unputdownable read'
'Well written, good story lines, well plotted, and characters that immediately engaged my interest and sympathies'
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, the 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.