Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book Blog Tour Stop and Review - The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora by Stephanie Thornton

The Secret History

About The Book:

Publication Date: July 2, 2013
NAL Trade
Paperback; 448p

Where Theodora went, trouble followed…

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

When her father dies suddenly, Theodora and her sisters face starvation 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 of the city’s infamous amphitheater in a scandalous dramatization of her own invention. When her daring performance grants her a back-door 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 will thrive 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.

My Thoughts:

I read a lot of historical fiction, particularly novels that feature strong women characters - Queens, Princesses, etc, And I will have to say, without a doubt, that "The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora" has to be one of the most fascinating books in this genre that I have had the pleasure of reading this year!

Debut author Stephanie Thornton takes her readers back in ancient history to the exotic land of Constantinople and into the little known life of Theodora, Empress of the Byzantine Empire, and what a journey it is. Thornton follows the feisty Theodora from her incredibly rough childhood through her days as an "actress" of sorts to her rise to power as the right hand of the Emperor Justinian.

Filled with wonderfully rich descriptions, a cast of amazing characters, this novel is part history lesson, part romance, and part adventure thriller. The story is fast-paced, and readers will absolutely hang on every word to the very satisfying end.  Thornton has done a wonderful job with this book, and I can't wait to see what she has to offer next!

I thoroughly enjoyed "The Secret History" and highly recommend it to fans of historical fiction.

About The Author:

Stephanie Thornton

Stephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.

For more information, please visit Stephanie Thornton’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule:

Tuesday, June 25
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Wednesday, June 26
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, June 27
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Monday, July 1
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Tuesday, July 2
Review at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, July 3
Review at Book Journey
Friday, July 5
Review at Layered Pages
Monday, July 8
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Tuesday, July 9
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Friday, July 12
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Tuesday, July 16
Review at Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, July 17
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Thursday, July 18
Review & Guest Post at The Lit Bitch
Friday, July 19
Interview & Giveaway at Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books
Monday, July 22
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, July 24
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, July 25
Review, Interview & Giveaway at Enchanted by Josephine
Friday, July 26
Interview at A Bookish Libraria
Monday, July 29
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Thursday, August 1
Review at Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books
Friday, August 2
Review & Giveaway at Bippity Boppity Book

My thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for including me on this tour and to the author for the review copy of this book.

I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Mary (Bookfan) said...

It's going on my list, Sharon. Loved your thoughts on this book!

Sharon Galligar Chance said...

I think you will love this book Mary!