Title: Dawn Empress: A Novel of Imperial Rome (The Theodosian Women, Book Two)
Author: Faith L. Justice
Audiobook narrated by Kathleen Li
Genre: Historical Fiction
As Rome reels under barbarian assaults, a young girl must step up.
After the Emperor’s unexpected death, ambitious men eye the Eastern Roman throne occupied by seven-year-old Theodosius II. His older sister Pulcheria faces a stark choice: she must find allies and take control of the Eastern court or doom the imperial children to a life of obscurity—or worse. Beloved by the people and respected by the Church, Pulcheria forges her own path to power. Can her piety and steely will protect her brother from military assassins, heretic bishops, scheming eunuchs and—most insidious of all—a beautiful, intelligent bride? Or will she lose all in the trying?
Dawn Empress tells the little-known and remarkable story of Pulcheria Augusta, 5th century Empress of Eastern Rome. Her accomplishments rival those of Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great as she sets the stage for the dawn of the Byzantine Empire. Don’t miss this “gripping tale” (Kirkus Reviews); a “deftly written and impressively entertaining historical novel” (Midwest Book Reviews). Historical Novel Reviews calls Dawn Empress an “outstanding novel…highly recommended” and awarded it the coveted Editor’s Choice.
Focusing on a little-known woman in Roman history, Dawn Empress takes us into the life of Pulcheria Augusta, who was co-ruler of Eastern Rome, along with her brother, Theodosius. Initially, I was struck by Pulcheria’s dedication to her faith, as it felt a bit overwhelming, especially when it led to the persecution of others, but I recognize that, at the time, that wasn’t radical in the slightest. There were parts I felt a bit dry and sometimes repetitive, especially when it came to religion, but the conflicts between Pulcheria, her brother, and her brother’s wife made for some interesting reading, as well as learning how the power was balanced between the eastern and western parts of the Roman empire at the time. Understandably, the novel does jump a bit, having to cover over fifty years of history, but it’s clear the author certainly knows her Roman history and has dedicated a great deal of time to be as accurate as possible within the scope of the historical fiction genre. That is something I fully appreciate.
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0917053265
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0917053265
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0917053265
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B089J6R3YZ
Nook Audiobook: https://www.nookaudiobooks.com/audiobook/1028557/dawn-empress
About the Author:
Faith L. Justice writes award-winning historical novels, short stories, and articles in Brooklyn, New York where she lives with her family and the requisite gaggle of cats. Her work has appeared in Salon.com, Writer’s Digest, The Copperfield Review, and many more publications. She is Chair of the New York City chapter of the Historical Novel Society, and Associate Editor for Space and Time Magazine. She co-founded a writer’s workshop many more years ago than she likes to admit. For fun, she digs in the dirt—her garden and various archaeological sites.
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B003FWNP9S