Re: Why fantasy and not historical fiction?
Thought I'd commented on this thread. Hmm. Must be going mad.
Anyway, I really liked Tigana and downloaded a sample of another book by Mr. Kay (I keep wanting to call him Kray for some reason) which was clearly heavily inspired by Byzantium.
The problem for me was that it was so similar it jarred a bit. The excubitors are obscure enough to be copied, I think, but the Greens and Blues made me think of the Nika rebellion and the nature of the political plotting and question of succession cast my mind back to numerous instances of Byzantine history.