Excellent It s engaging and compelling, and takes you there Obviously well researched, it includes good detail and readers will come away with a story that will stick with them for a while Recommended.I really appreciate the review copy For reviews and bookish posts please visit s Child A Novel of Empress Theodora by James Conroyd Martin is a historical novel about a woman, born to a circus bear keeper in Constantinople, who used her wits and good looks to become the wife of the ruler of the empire Mr Martin is the award winning novelist living in Hollywood, CA.The story is told through the eyes of Stephen, a good looking Syrian Eunuch, who befriends Theodora well before she became empress Theodora asks Stephen to write her biography so her enemies won t get the last historical word, and so the story begins.We follow Theodora through childhood, daughter to window trying to make ends meet Teenage and adulthood where the beautiful woman finds the bug of acting, but does not shy away from prostitution She ties her fortunes to an upperclassman who has been given a governorship in Africa, but quickly finds out that meddling in affairs of the state will not earn her any friends Broke and alone Theodora returns to Constantinople to see what the future holds.This book should be an example of how to write a description to sell a book On top of that, Fortune s Child A Novel of Empress Theodora by James Conroyd Martin lives up to its expectations as a vivid, well researched historical fiction.I knew nothing about Empress Theodora , wife of Emperor Justinian I and probably the most powerful woman in Byzantine history, but she sounded very intriguing and like all good history, it s something that you simply just can t make up The story switches between first and third person narratives, between past and present but the author made it all work and I never got lost.I thought that the storytelling device, Theodora asking Stephen, to write her biography was a smart choice It allowed the author to include or exclude any information, since Theodora wants to glorify herself and omit any unfavorable events, while Stephen is free to share with the readers his experiences outside of Theodora s spin or echo chamber.The one thing I thought was missing from the book was the political games she must have played, the author put some in it but he was interested in telling her story from a human point of interest instead of her intelligence and political acumen There is another book in the works which will complete the story and I am looking forward to find out about this interesting historical persona. The History Is Amazing I Felt Like I Was There Lisa Wingate, Bestselling Author Of Before We Were Yours Theodora Actress, Prostitute, Mistress, Feminist And Byzantine Empress Of The Civilized World Stephen Handsome Syrian Boy, Wizard S Apprentice, Palace Eunuch And Secretary To The Empress How Does This Unlikely Pair Become Such Allies That One Day Empress Theodora Asks Stephen To Write Her Biography From A Very Young Age, Theodora, Daughter Of A Circus Bearkeeper In Constantinople, Sets Her Sights Well Above Her Station In Life Her Exquisite Beauty Sets Her Apart On Stages And In The Eyes Of MenStephen, A Syrian Lad Of Striking Good Looks, Is Sold By His Parents To A Persian Wizard, Who Teaches Him A Skill In Languages That Will Serve Him WellBy The Time Destiny Brings Them Together In Antioch, Theodora Has Undergone Heart Rending Trials And A Transformation, While Stephen Has Been Sold Again And CastratedDiscover The Enduring Bond That, However Imperfect, Prompts Theodora As Empress To Request Palace Eunuch Stephen To Write Her Biography James Conroyd Martin Not Only Unfurls The Vast Canvas Of History, But He Paints The Deeply Personal Side Of The Men And Women Who Lived It His Settings And Characters Come To Life In Meticulously Researched Detail I Felt Like I Was There Lisa Wingate, New York Times Bestselling Author Of Before We Were Yours Fortune S Child Is A Treasure For Historical Fiction Fans Richly Detailed, Immersive, And Heart Pounding Martin Paints A Vivid And Satisfying Portrait Of One Of History S Most Remarkable Women Olivia Hawker, Bestselling Author Of The Ragged Edge Of Night I was sent this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.I can t decide whether I want to give this a 3.5 or a 4 star rating I knew next to nothing about Theodora before reading this book so I was really intrigued when I read the description of this book It s really well written and researched, I liked how the story was told in both first and third person The swaps between Theodora and Stephen s stories and between the past and the present was well done However I kind of wish we could have got about Stephen s past since I found his character and experiences as a apprentice interesting and wanted detail while I found some of Theodora s a bit too lengthy, at least the actress parts, I got interested when she moved on from that and got into exciting situations and how she meet Stephen onto becoming Empress I would have liked detail with that, it seemed to take time on the duller parts of her life and less on the political manoeuvring with her enemies, though this should hopefully feature in the next book of the duology. Fascinating and detailed This riveting woman is brought to life in the story told by Stephan, the eunuch scribe whose life intertwines her own It s a rich tapestry, meticulously researched, and colorfully written I wanted of Stephan, and occasionally Theodora seemed two dimensional in contrast, but it s a very enjoyable read, and I look forward to the sequel. This is a story of how an actress be ame an empress The friends she made and the enemies that sought to kill her It is about the choices she made, good and bad The betrayals of so called lovers and friends that she trusted It is also about a young man she met, Stephen, someone that would be her lifelong friend The story is full of adventure and misadventures It is ultimately the story of strength, courage and determination Great characters I loved the book This is my fourth JC Martin novel And I thoroughly enjoyed the story, his writing technique and his character development Through Theodora s life story in the Byzantine Empire the incredulous events that led up to her rise were depicted so clearly and so well researched that I lived the period with her I cannot wait to read the sequel Theodora was new to me I got lost, not only in her incredible story of survival, but in her relationships with Stephen, her sisters and her eventual rise I m looking forward to the second book so I can see how she helped shape the empire I loved this book as much as The Poland Trilogy Loved itKept me interested from start to finish I knew nothing about this woman but she was amazingly strong, intelligent and ambitious I liked that it told two stories and was a constant page turner I can t wait for the next book. The author provided me with an Advance Reader s Copy in exchange for an honest review.I ve read several novels about Theodora and her husband, the Emperor Justinian, and enjoyed them all However, this one has to be the best of them all The author s attention to historical detail and the historical record was excellent Theodora s portrayal was sympathetic but realistic, her exceptional story from actress, to courtesan, to empress being told by the Great Palace eunuch, Stephen Most interesting was the inclusion of the historian, Procopios, who wrote a scandalous Secret History about Theodora alleging all sorts of nefarious, witch like activities on her part The author portrayed him as a bitter, social climbing bureaucrat, angry at seeing a woman rise from the lowest rungs of society to its very pinnacle This wonderful novel is the first of two novels about Theodora and ends not long after Justinian comes to the throne I can t wait to see the next volume that will cover years of wars, rebellions and riots, the building of the magnificent Hagia Sophia, and the Justinianic plague There are many things one can say about Theodora, but boring is not one of them.
Ah, Fate The seed for Fortune s Child started some years ago when I was taking an Art Appreciation course at a community college in Los Angeles One day we were studying the exquisite mosaics of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora from the Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, and the professor pointed to Theodora and said, I m not a writer, but if I were, that is the woman I would write
- Kindle Edition
- 400 pages
- Fortunes Child
- James Conroyd Martin
- 14 October 2018 James Conroyd Martin