Read in June 2010
A strangely compelling story even though none of the characters evoked compassion, laughter, anger or any other strong emotion from me. Normally, without an emotional connection, I become bored and sputter to a stop. Kay crafted an exquisite tale, a risky reckless journey into intoxicating intrigue fueled by ambitious visions and ruthless machinations.
Fantasy elements are kept to a minimum, the purview of alchemists and the occasional supernatural intervention. I read this novel with the understanding that Kay ‘re-imagined’ the Byzantine Empire of Justinian II. Sort of an alternate history where the names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.