Hello Bookish Friends,
Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, Far Away Bird
by, Douglas A. Burton, which is being hosted by HFBT!
Far Away Bird
by Douglas A. Burton
Publication Date: February 6, 2020
Silent Music Press LLC
Paperback; 394 Pages Cover art illustration by George Frei
Genre: Historical Fiction
Inspired by true events, Far Away Bird delves into the complex mind of Byzantine Empress Theodora. This intimate account deftly follows her rise from actress-prostitute in Constantinople’s red-light district to the throne of the Byzantine Empire.
Her salacious past has left historians blushing and uncomfortable. Tales of her shamelessness have survived for centuries, and yet her accomplishments as an empress are unparalleled. Theodora goes on to influence sweeping reforms that result in some of the first ever Western laws granting women freedom and protection. More than a millennium before the women’s rights movement, Theodora, alone, took on the world’s greatest superpower and succeeded. Far Away Bird goes where history classrooms fear to tread in hopes that Theodora can finally take her seat among the greatest women in history.
Theodora seems impossible–yet her transcendence teaches us that society can’t tell us who we are deep down. Before there was a legendary empress, there was a conflicted young woman from the lower classes.
And her name was Theodora.
Grand Prize Winner 2019 Manuscript Contest for historical fiction-Writers’ League of Texas
Bronze Medal for Best Debut Novel in historical fiction-The Coffee Pot Book Club
Gold Medal Book of the Year historical fiction- The Coffee Pot Book Club
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
I love reading anything to do with Byzantine Empire, I named one gorgeous kitty’s after Zoë Prophyrogenita. So when I was presented with the opportunity to read a book about the incredible Theodora, I jumped at the chance.
Far away Bird by Douglasbased on the life of Theodora, the Byzantine Empress, rising up from humble beginnings in a strict unforgiving class systems to become an Iconic Empress.
Theodora is remembered as one of the first rulers to recognize the rights of women, installing a system of unprecedented codified laws that directly were in favor of women. Also passing strict laws to prohibit the trafficking in young girls and altering the divorce laws to give greater benefits to women. She spent much of her reign trying to alleviate these laws. Sometimes her checkered past tends to overshadow all her crucial accomplishment.
Theodora grew up around the political warring prominent factions of the the Greens and the Blues, that were mostly based around the chariot races at the Hippodrome. Her father, Acacius, held a paid commission as a bear trainer, and was a devoted Green supporter, up until his death in one of riots, Young Theodora and her mother and sisters lived a fairly comfortable lives Then everything changed upon the discovery that their father had lost his life due to some unrest during a night of protesting.
With the threat of being cast out on the streets, Maximina, Theodora’s mother is Magister Origen, a local judge, persuades her to marry Samuel, a candidate for her late husbands bear-keeper post.
Magister Origen, is not all he seems to be, and unscrupulous motives when he offers to have Theodora and her sister Comito, brought before a dancing master Asterius. When the harsh reality of Origen’s intentions, and the full truth of Theodora and her sister exact life lay before her, she takes matters into her own hands. Setting her and the rest of her family again into another dire situation. Her insightful mother, Maximina, takes desperate measures, in an emotional act of bravery, she seeks atonement for her family.
Burton, delivers a vividly descriptive, interesting, and well-written read here with characters and a setting that totally captivated and intrigued me. I was totally taken and fascinated with both Theodora and her rise from a lower station in a very rigid class system. With exceptional narration the author brings to life through these wonderful pages one of the most Iconic Roman Empress of The Byzantine Era.
Richly detailed, with seamless prose, Theodora’s character and her life is meticulously written to engage and enlighten the reader. Well developed sub-character are notable and intriguing, that bring incredible depth to this historical fiction. Staying close to historical and political events during this era, the author brings the desperation, struggles and strength of Theodora, to life. There are some early, riveting turns of events that change the main protagonist life. Some are gut wrenching, but also you see her true resilient capabilities.
Exquisite atmospheric scenes catapults the reader to Constantinople during the Byzantine Empire. Burton’s strong narration caries you through the early years of one of the most incredible woman in history.
The author strategically sets up the ending to allow for a stunning continuation. I am excited to see how Theodora’s character is further developed and this vibrant and intriguing storyline unfolds.
I definitely recommend this stunning historical fiction to my family and friends.
Douglas Alan Burton is a speaker, author, and expert storyteller whose work depicts heroic figures and their deeper connection to the human experience. Doug blogs about heroes, heroines, and villains in pop culture with some unexpected and refreshing perspective. He grew up in what he describes as â€œthe heroic boyhood culture of late Generation Xâ€ that has gone mainstream around the world. He also shares strategies with fellow writers for writing compelling heroic characters in fiction.
Douglas recently began outlining a breakthrough storytelling model that reveals a fascinating â€œheroine-centricâ€ model for story structure he calls The Heroineâ€™s Labyrinth. He believes a powerful new archetype is emerging for women in fiction. His forthcoming novel, Far Away Bird, which centers on the early life of Byzantine Empress Theodora, won the 2019 Manuscript Content for Historical Fiction from the Writersâ€™ League of Texas and will be published in February of 2020.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, January 27
Review at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, January 28
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, January 29
Review at @ya.its.lit
Friday, January 31
Interview at Jathan & Heather
Monday, February 3
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Tuesday, February 4
Feature at I’m All About Books
Wednesday, February 5
Review at Historical Graffiti
Thursday, February 6
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Friday, February 7
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Sunday, February 9
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Monday, February 10
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit
Tuesday, February 11
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Wednesday, February 12
Review at @bookishbellee
Thursday, February 13
Feature at Just One More Chapter
Friday, February 14
Review at Broken Teepee
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two copies of Far Away Bird by Douglas Burton! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Paperback giveaway is to the US only.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.