From Publishers Weekly
Bradshaw ( Beekeeper's Daughter and Beacon at Alexandria ) creates a compelling fictional character, Demetrias. Wife and mother, well-born slave, she is the premier silk weaver working in fifth century Tyre, where life and commerce revolve around the precious purple dye that symbolizes the power of imperial Rome. When Demetrias is assigned to weave a cloak in the proscribed imperial color, but not of measurements to fit Emperor Theodosius II, she realizes that treachery is afoot, but refusal is not a slave's option. Her survival depends on devising a strategy to save her life and those of her family. The plot twists and turns through a diorama of actual events involving historical figures, notably Demetrias's encounter with the emperor's formidable sister, Pulcheria. Historical novels are stamped by both the writer and the backdrop of an era; Imperial Purple is doubly embossed with strength in a style that will appeal to readers of Robert Graves and Mary Renault. The author's historical afterword further illuminates the turbulent Byzantine era.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA Continuing her work on historical motifs, Bradshaw brings readers a third novel set in the Byzantine period. The fascinating theme throughout this tale is the manufacture of purple dye from murex shellfish and the weaving of sumptuous gownsthe purple cloth valued above gold and worn only by emperors. The slave Demetrias, a talented silk weaver, is instructed to weave a cloak of imperial purple. She and her husband, a murex fisherman, are drawn into a treacherous plot which gives drama to the lives of slaves, eunuchs, and rulers. Endpaper maps show Tyre and Constantinople in the 5th Century a.d. In a concluding statement, Bradshaw provides information about actual people and facts used and those invented for the enrichment of the tales. Jenni Elliott, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.