In the year 980 a little boy is born in Kleve. He will change the entire Western World and his contemporaries will celebrate him as one of the wonders of the world. Preparing his way is his mother, Theophanu, who against all odds rises to become the most powerful woman of the West forming the future of her son and the empire.
Theophanu – branded ´the Greek´ and scorned as the bride from Byzantium when marrying Otto II – turns into a wise politician at the side of her rather weak husband. In order to have her son, Otto III, crowned emperor in Rome she has to use all her diplomatic skill. She accompanies her husband on his journey to Italy where he plans to conquer Calabria gathering the largest army he ever commanded against the Saracens. But Otto is ambushed and defeated utterly. He is able to get away in a daring escape but dies shortly after. Now, Theophanu´s most powerful enemy, Henry of Bavaria, claims the throne and takes little Otto hostage. In a reckless ruse Theophanu succeeds in getting her child back and she then becomes the first sole reigning empress of the West. A faithfully researched historic thriller from a dark age.