The Secret History

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The Secret History

A Novel of Empress Theodora

This is not a book that I would normally have grabbed. But I loved the cover! So I grabbed it from Night Owl Reviews and finally made it on my list! So it took me three days to finish as we were running around! At the time that I started this book I had no knowledge that Empress Theodora was a real person at all. But was happy to find that out! Before I get into my review. I wanted to let everyone know that although the Empress in this book lives until the age of 45 the real woman died at 21, which is very young of course. Of course dying at 45 isn’t something that normally happens in this time either.

So my favorite character would have to be Antonia because she did as she pleased and didn’t let anything stand in her way! I did love Theodora and believe that she made a lot of mistakes, but in the end everything turned out. I don’t think that I could ever leave my children once, let alone twice. I think that really made me disapprove of her. But standing up to John really made me lover her more! She takes the high road and decides that she doesn’t want to be a prostitute anymore! I think it is an amazing thing that in her life (real) she created a house for woman that were prostitutes, she made it illegal for men to beat their wives and was making sure that woman had rights as well. She was a very amazing person!

I also loved Justinian, not only is he a good man but a wonderful husband. In that time period being married didn’t mean you couldn’t sleep around with other woman. With him not doing that, well that makes him golden in my eyes. I think that them as a couple really made his ruling all the better. I would have hated to see what their world would have been like if Theodora wouldn’t have been there.

The only thing that I think the author really should have changed was that Theodora should have trusted her husband. I think a lot of things would have been different if she would have told him that she had two children. And maybe little John would have survived. This story tore out my heart and taped it back together just to tare it to sheds at the end. But I loved it! I really love that the book includes not only a note from the author about Theodora, but also a Reader's Guide. So it is ready for any book club to use! And as question 12 asks. "What do you hope to remember about this novel?" I hope to remember the struggles that not only Theodora went through, but everyone in this book. I hope to remember that you should trust your loved ones to believe in you and to not stab you in the back.

*I received a copy of this book for free to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.


Book Blurb for The Secret History

Where Theodora went, trouble followed?.

In sixth-century Constantinople, one woman, Theodora, defied every convention and all the odds and rose from common theater tart to empress of a great kingdom, the most powerful woman the Roman Empire would ever know. The woman whose image was later immortalized in glittering mosaic was a scrappy, clever, conniving, flesh-and-blood woman full of sensuality and spirit whose real story is as surprising as any ever told?.

After her father dies suddenly, Theodora and her sisters face starvation and a life on the streets. Determined to survive, Theodora makes a living any way she can?first on her back with every man who will have her, then on the stage in a scandalous dramatization of her own invention. When her daring performance grants her a backdoor entry into the halls of power, she seizes the chance to win a wealthy protector?only to face heartbreak and betrayal.

Ever resilient, Theodora rises above such trials and, by a twist of fate, meets her most passionate admirer yet: the emperor’s nephew. She thrives as his confidant and courtesan, but many challenges lie ahead. For one day this man will hand her a crown. And all the empire will wonder?is she bold enough, shrewd enough, and strong enough to keep it?


Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2013 5.00