I received a free e-copy of The Eagle and The Swan from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my honest review.
About the Book:
About the Author:
Much of what is known about Empress Theodora has come to us through the writings of one of her contemporaries, Procopius. He was a historian of her age and he wrote about Justinian and Theodora – in one book he praised them and in his “Secret History” found many, many years later he presented a totally opposite picture. What is truth? As with most situations like is – it probably lies somewhere in the middle. This novel is Theodora’s response to Procopius’s Secret History; she has a trusted friend write it with the caveat that it not be read until 1500 years in the future when it will be better received and understood.
Like Theodora, the daughter of a bear trainer who grew up to be an actress, then a whore, then a courtesan – the book is bold, raw and ribald. Theodora directs it and she states from the start that she will not lie nor will she present a life of sunshine and sugar. She will tell her story, warts and all.
I must admit that while she was not always likable I really liked Theodora. She was handed a really raw deal in life and yet she used what she had – her looks and her brains – and she rose to be Empress. She worked for women’s rights in a time when women were nothing more than chattel. I wonder what more she might have done had her life not been cut so short. The book was riveting and I loved losing myself in Theodora’s world as unpleasant as it was at times.
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