In search of her brother Justinian, who was accused of murder and then banished, Anna Lascaris comes to Constantinople disguised as Anastasius, a eunuch and physician by trade. Like magic, Anastasius is getting clients in all the right circles and wheeling and dealing with the greatest in the land. Meanwhile, there are plots afoot in Rome to bring Constantinople and the Orthodox Church to heel or face the threat of destruction at the hands of another crusade.
Or it was something like that. I hate to say it but I finally gave up around page 200 or so when I finally realized I just didn’t care what happened. I didn’t warm up to Anna’s character, nor did I find the dress-up-like-a-man plot device terribly believable. The story was constantly bouncing from one character/plot line to another and I found it very hard to follow. The medical details were very tiring, all Anna seemed to do was hop from one patient to the next and not have much time to search for her brother. *Yawn*
The marketing that I’ve seen for this book is also a bit confusing. I understand the writer has previously written several mysteries – but if this book is supposed to be a mystery it certainly falls flat as a pancake in that regard. If this is supposed to be a straight historical novel than it didn’t work for me that way either. Not knowing much about Constantinople, the Orthodox religion, or Charles of Anjou I was very confused at first – either I missed something entirely or the author assumes the reader already knows all about it. Or was I supposed to go to Wik and read up on it and educate myself? I thought that was the author’s job. Not recommended.
My copy courtesy Amazon Vine