Anna of Byzantium is about the first born Princess of the Byzantium kingdom. In her young years, she gets a younger brother, who she despises since first sight. The boy grows up spoiled by his nurse, since their mother becomes sick after the birth. Because of this, he never comes into the classroom with Anna and her sister, Maria, and always throws tantrums over anything he wants or doesn't want (and always gets his way.) She gets betrothed to her cousin, Constantine. Anna's grandma starts 'teaching' her how to run the empire, since she was the heir. Her grandma talks about affairs, how to run this and that, but also puts down Anna's mother's family.
Anna and her mom try to tell the King of what his mother is doing, but she denies it, so he won't believe them. A lot of history between Anna's mother and grandmother rise up.
Anna, while talking to her tutor, talks about how when she goes to rule the kingdom, she will first kill her brother off. Her brother, being taught by their grandmother, hides out wherever Anna is and tells on her whenever he hears anything. So, he runs straight to his father and Anna is confronted on it. She is scared for her life then because it was death for whoever wished death on a royal.
But, she gets off, but she's not the heir anymore...her brother is. Her father and once betrothed, Constantine, go to war...her father gets sick, and Constantine dies. After her father's death, her brother ends up banning her from the library (where she spends all her time.)
Anna and her mother start a plot on killing Anna's brother. Anna goes to put medicine that was deadly (that she got before her father died by his sickbed) and tried to put it in her brother's cup (he had a king's cup, so no one else's was like his, and only he could drink from it.) well, she gets caught, but her brother, in rebellion to her grandma, sends her to a convent.
Threw all this, Anna's slave, dreams of her freedom and marrying her betrothed. She ends up finding Anna at the convent, after so long without seeing her, and presents Anna with her daughter, who is named 'Anna'.
This book I read in less than a day, straight threw. It was incredible for a book of its length. I would recommend it :)