Theophano is a young woman living a peaceful and sheltered life among people who love her. Her father raises her as an equal to his sons and his only ambition for her is to be happy. However, everything will suddenly change when she is forced to move to a distant and inhospitable foreign land where she will have to face insults, challenges, and grave dangers. Will she find the strength to survive, or will she be lost in the darkness of the Middle Ages among people who hate her?
This novel is set in the second half of the tenth century (950-999) and moves between history and myth. It follows a basic historical framework, but most of it is fiction. My inspiration was the life of a great Greek Byzantine woman who became queen of a big Western Empire and managed to influence European civilization like no other. She was the woman that became the Queen of chess.
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My name is Maria D. Georgiou. Georgiou is the first name of my father, who died when I was young, leaving a gaping hole in my life. Growing up on a farm, I learned to love animals, nature and ordinary people. I have fond memories of my childhood which I consider the basis for a balanced life. My two children are growing up in the city which I always find fascinating, yet complicated.
I was lucky because I had good teachers who taught me to love myself and my mistakes. Now, I try to do the same with my own students. I studied education and journalism, but my great love is history. Together with my children and husband I traveled a lot around the world, and this was better than the best university. My motto in life is some words of the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle: To train the mind without training the heart is worthless.