Why did I love this book?
Byzantine history has only sporadically inspired historical fiction, although Empress Theodora, wife of Emperor Justinian, has had more than a few novels written about her. I’ve read and enjoyed many of them but this book is one of the best. Her dramatic life encompassed the deadly Nike riots, the building of the magnificent Hagia Sophia, and the Justinianic Plague. And did I mention that she was a courtesan prior to marrying Justinian? Martin’s Theodora is a glorious and sympathetic woman, even if flawed. The author tells her story wonderfully through the eyes of a court eunuch!