Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

If you love historical fiction and political intrigue, you’ll love this book.

About the Book

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Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3OBMB0M
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0B6SVL8HG
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61686584-the-guardians-of-byzantium

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“Tensions soaring between Eastern and Western Rome. With a weak ruler on the throne, can a slave fill the vacuum and rise to power?

Roman Empire, 395 AD. Eunuch Eutropius is sick of being seen as less. Boasting a powerful ally in the empress for securing her marriage, the Imperial Chamberlain nurtures the relationship even as he plots to eliminate a political enemy. So when the reviled general is murdered and not a tear is shed, he uses his growing influence to control the spineless emperor.

With the Empire weakened by battle and threatened on multiple fronts, the brilliant bureaucrat wields bribes and blackmail to persuade, elevate, and destroy. But with the Romans becoming increasingly desperate for allies, Eutropius makes a highly contentious promotion that could bring the resourceful man to the brink of greatness… or disaster.

Will Eutropius win the protection the Imperial Court needs without bringing down the walls of a great civilization?

Painstakingly researched, author Justin Isaacs deftly weaves together true events with plausible what-ifs. From the aspirations of immoral men to the changing and often violent landscape of the known world, readers will devour this epic account of a pivotal moment in time.

The Guardians of Byzantium is the breathtaking first book in The Guardians of Byzantium historical fiction series. If you like tenacious anti-heroes, deep conspiracies, and thrilling glimpses into the past, then you’ll love Justin Isaacs’s riveting saga.

My Thoughts

This book taught me I do not prefer realistic historical fiction. I need my historical fiction to focus on romance or magic or fantasy. A slice of life sprinkled with political intrigue apparently isn’t my cup of tea. And that’s okay. We don’t all love all books. I still think this was a well-written book, and that there are tons of history and historical fiction buffs out there that will devour this book.

For me, after the bombastic, spectacular introduction, I got bogged down with names and situations. I couldn’t really keep up with what was going on and who was doing what or when. I got very lost and it took away from my enjoyment of the book. The facts were interesting, but it also started to drag some. The action slowed a bit, and I felt a little like I was reading a history book with dialogue. This is definitely a book that could have benefited from one of those keys at the front of the book identifying the cast of characters, almost like a play.

That said, the dialogue was great. There were a few places where there was some anachronistic language, which pulled me out of the book a bit. Overall, it covered a period of history I wasn’t super familiar with, but it was interesting. It had elements that reminded me of “Game of Thrones,” because of the political intrigue, the eunuch in high society, and some other elements. However, this was regular-life historical fiction, with no dragons in sight. The cover was simple but effective, and some nice maps were included.

I am grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me on the tour.

Who’s It For?

People who enjoy realistic historical fiction, set in the times of Roman soldiers will eat this book up. The plot is long and complex, and involves some twists. It is also ripe with political intrigue and a little mystery, but if you generally prefer some fantasy or romance in your historical fiction, this might not be your favorite book.

Content Warnings: War, Violence, Adult Situations, Adult Language

About the Author

Justin Isaacs lives in the UK. He is the author of “The Guardians of Byzantium” series of books, a historical fiction series that follows the history of the Byzantine Empire through the eyes and minds of a secret organization dedicated to the preservation of The Roman Empire, whatever the cost.


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