From Janet McGiffin, a Tacoma resident, comes a story of two young women who join forces to survive the dangers and power of the Roman Empire of the East, and a city that is very much a man’s world.
The book series is about the Byzantine era in 8th-century Greece and the woman, Princess Irini, who climbed (clawed, really) her way to power. This first book, “Betrothal and Betrayal,” introduces a young teen, Thekla. She is impetuous, naïve, and formidable. She has been betrayed by her betrothed and her parents, who, times as they were, needed to marry her off. They make plans to marry her to the old gravedigger in their village after Myri, her betrothed, betrays her for the second time. Horrified, Thekla sees a chance to escape from the city gates in Ikonion where she had been to meet Myri returning from war. She sees a coach leaving town and jumps on it, starting a remarkable journey to Constantinople, where she is certain she will find Myri and marry.
With McGriffin’s richly detailed description of the culture, food, politics, and relationships of the 8th century, readers can almost taste, smell and feel the emotions Thekla experiences. It is classified as Young Adult fiction (it’s historical fiction), but just as Hunger Games was read widely by all ages, so, too, will this book.
McGiffin divides her time between her apartment in Manhattan, her home in Tacoma, and her friends in Athens, Greece. The book series. “Betrothal and Betrayal” and “Poison is a Woman’s Friend” (available on BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon), is the result of her time in Greece, where she lived for over a decade. She spent 11 years researching and writing the series. Her previously published books are murder mysteries set in Milwaukee, where she lived for a time after she graduated from the University of Washington.
Source: Lisa Otto, content coordinator for The Heart of the North End magazine.