The Byzantine Bride
In 972 AD, a young girl sets forth from Byzantium to Rome, accompanied by her astrologer. She is due to wed the son of Emperor Otto the Great. But there are potent enemies awaiting her – a network of conspirators who are plotting to seize possession of the imperial throne. Gabrielle Alioth's historical novel abounds with adventure, romantic entanglements and mysterious deaths – a riveting and magical drama depicting an almost forgotten European era.
When the Byzantine bride-to-be arrives, the conspirators who support Dietrich, the Bishop of Metz, think she'll pose no problem to them. After all, Theophanu is only twelve years old, doesn't speak a word of Latin or German, and, as it transpires, cannot even lay claim to being a legitimate daughter of the Byzantine Emperor. With the ineffectual Otto the Red at her side, she is hardly likely to interfere with the subversives' plans. But they are much mistaken… Theophanu is under the aegis of the Emperor himself, he has bequeathed her untold riches. Thanks to her courage and clear thinking, by the end of a long journey she has become the most powerful woman of her day: Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. In a spellbinding, fast-paced narrative, Gabrielle Alioth tells of a remarkable life and liaison from an extraordinary era of the Middle Ages.
"A deeply humane novel that skilfully interweaves historical research and affairs of the heart, capturing truth and fiction in brilliant dialogues." (Tages-Anzeiger)