Monday, May 27, 2013

G138 Book Review of Palladium Eastern Empires by Marc Lane

Name of Book: Palladium Eastern Empires

Author: Marc Lane

ISBN: 9781481278898

Publisher: Createspace

Part of a Series: Palladium

Type of book: Crusades, Byzantium, Holy Land, Judaism, slavery, conversion, 1106-1108, decisions, Palladium, Israel, battles

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

This is the story before the fall of the Roman Empire, the last gasp of the vanished culture of Byzantium, the Middle Ages and the crusades. A story of pride, servitude, adventure and misfortune. Moreover, this is the story of a statue long forgotten, yet whose name lingers on, at the edge of awareness. Of how she came to be removed from her sacred seat, and where she was taken.

Characters:

The characters are many and multiple, yet strangely enough there's little explanation for their motives, at least for Jacob (Clement) in particular. Some things that do happen to Jacob seem very last minute for me and didn't really ring true. Jacob seemed to grow on me, despite his, what I feel, controversial decisions, and although I don't support it, I understand it. I would have liked to learn more about Jacob's background before he became a slave, and I also would like to know more about his future if possible. I think the moments I enjoyed in the book are ones with Jacob and him trying to befriend Sampson or Roxanna. I also liked seeing new aspects and learning about the characters that I am barely familiar with.

Theme:

There's truth in myths

Plot:

This is written in third person narrative from what seems to be everyone's point of view; from Jacob's, Nicephoros's, Anna's, Alexius's and so forth. I admit that I struggled with the writing and point of view as well as what is going on in the book. From what I gather, there are palace politics between Alexius and his family, as well as a mysterious discovery of Palladium whom they think is Mary Theotokos. There is also a journey, political maneuvering, and close look on the Crusaders, as well as people's opinions about Jews and conversion is included there too.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born
Sydney, Australia

gender
male

website
http://marcyveslane.wordpress.com

genre
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Gay And Lesbian

influences
Colleen McCullough, Sharon Kay Penman, Edward Rutherfurd and Jean M. A...more

member since
December 2012

Marc Yves Lane lives in London with his partner. He has degrees in law, architecture and urban design, and has practiced in all three fields, as well as being a prolific armchair and physical traveller.

Palladium Eastern Empires is his first published book

Opinion:

I am biased in saying I liked this book. I enjoyed the time it was set, the characters and whatnot. I do also admit that much of the history dealing with Alexius and Anna I didn't know. I learned about the Byzantium from Crusades class, a small part of how Alexius had Crusaders take a vow and they could be on their merry way, and that any land they got would belong to the Eastern Empire. But beyond that I had no idea. I have a vague of what Great Schism is, and know its between Orthodox and Catholic churches, I also know about Khazar empire slightly and I also have a rough idea of the Crusaders and the personages occupying these pages. I did find numerous things complicated and couldn't really understand, such as the relationships between the family, or perhaps when Jacob (Clement) traveled with Mavros and Mavros has done something to offend Baldwin the King of Jerusalem. The author does include multiple glossaries in the back about the personages occupying his book, as well as maps throughout the pages and a brief dictionary of some of the unfamiliar terms. I also admit that I want to read further and find out more about Jacob's life and what happens afterwards.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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