Synopses & Reviews
Where Theodora went, trouble followed
In sixth-century Constantinople, one woman, Theodora, defied every convention and all the odds and rose from common theater tart to empress of a great kingdom, the most powerful woman the Roman Empire would ever know. The woman whose image was later immortalized in glittering mosaic was a scrappy, clever, conniving, flesh-and-blood woman full of sensuality and spirit whose real story is as surprising as any ever told
After her father dies suddenly, Theodora and her sisters face starvation and a life on the streets. Determined to survive, Theodora makes a living any way she canfirst on her back with every man who will have her, then on the stage in a scandalous dramatization of her own invention. When her daring performance grants her a backdoor entry into the halls of power, she seizes the chance to win a wealthy protectoronly 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 emperors nephew. She thrives 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 wonderis she bold enough, shrewd enough, and strong enough to keep it?
READERS GUIDE INCLUDED
“Stephanie Thorntons Theodora is tough and intelligent, spitting defiance against the cruel world of the Byzantine Empire. Her rise from street urchin to emperors consort made me want to stand up and cheer. Her later years as empress are great fun to read, but it was her early struggle as actress and courtesan that really had me roaring: either with rage at the misfortunes heaped on this poor girl, or with delight as she once more picked herself up with a steely glint in her eye and kept on going.”—Kate Quinn, author of Empress of the Seven Hills
"Loss, ambition and lust keep this rich story moving at top speed. Stephanie Thornton writes a remarkable first novel that brings a little known woman to full, vibrant life...A sprawling and irresistible story."—Jeane Westin, author of The Spymaster's Daughter
Praise for The Secret History:
“What a heroine! Her rise from street urchin to emperors consort made me want to stand up and cheer.” —Kate Quinn, author of Empress of the Seven Hills
“Theodoras dramatic tale is exquisitely crafted in this cant miss summer read. I couldnt put it down for a moment.”—San Francisco Book Review
“If there is one book you choose to read on ancient times, let it be The Secret History.”—Historical Novel Society
“A remarkable first novel...sprawling and irresistible.” —Jeane Westin, author of The Spymasters Daughter
“Thorntons well-conceived and engrossing tale exalts a historical figure of ‘true grit.”—Library Journal
“A fascinating and vivid account…the life of the Empress Theodora leaps from the page, as colorful and complex as the woman herself.”—Michelle Diener, author of The Emperors Conspiracy
Praise for Daughter of the Gods
“A wonderfully intimate and dramatic evocation of ancient Egypt, where one headstrong young woman dares to become pharaoh. Stephanie Thornton vividly portrays the heat and the danger, the passion and the heartbreak …A touching love story combines with a thrilling tale of death, courage and political intrigue to produce a superbly researched and powerfully written novel. This is the kind of book that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. A remarkable story, remarkably told.”—Kate Furnivall, author of Shadows on the Nile and The Russian Concubine
“An epic saga that brings ancient Egypt to life with vivid imagery and lovely prose. Stephanie Thornton is a rising star!”—Stephanie Dray, author of Lily of the Nile
“Hatshepsut crackles with fascinating complexity.”—Vicky Alvear Shecter, author of Cleopatras Moon and Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii
“Stephanie Thornton's heroines are bold, brave, and powerful—they make me want to stand up and cheer.” —Kate Quinn, author of Lady of the Eternal City
"The lives of an ambitious soldier, a patrician heiress and a future emperor fatefully intersect...Quinn handles Imperial Rome with panache."
"[An] epic, sexy romp—the long-awaited sequel to Daughters of Rome...Readers will delight in the depictions of historical figures like Hadrian and Trajan, as well as the engrossing and dramatic relationships that drive this entertaining story."
Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers...
To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?
Egypt, 1400s BC. The pharaohs pampered second daughter, lively, intelligent Hatshepsut, delights in racing her chariot through the marketplace and testing her archery skills in the Niles marshlands. But the death of her elder sister, Neferubity, in a gruesome accident arising from Hatshepsuts games forces her to confront her guilt...and sets her on a profoundly changed course.
Hatshepsut enters a loveless marriage with her half brother, Thut, to secure his claim to the Isis Throne and produce a male heir. But it is another of Thuts wives, the commoner Aset, who bears him a son, while Hatshepsut develops a searing attraction for his brilliant adviser Senenmut. And when Thut suddenly dies, Hatshepsut becomes de facto ruler, as regent to her two-year-old nephew.
Once, Hatshepsut anticipated being free to live and love as she chose. Now she must put Egypt first. Ever daring, she will lead a vast army and build great temples, but always she will be torn between the demands of leadership and the desires of her heart. And even as she makes her boldest move of all, her enemies will plot her downfall....
Once again, Stephanie Thornton brings to life a remarkable woman from the distant past whose willingness to defy tradition changed the course of history.
From the national bestselling author of Daughters of Rome and Mistress of Rome comes a tale of love, power, and intrigue spanning the wilds of the Empire to the seven hills of Rome.
Powerful, prosperous, and expanding ever farther into the untamed world, the Roman Empire has reached its zenith under the rule of the beloved Emperor Trajan. But neither Trajan nor his reign can last forever...
Brash and headstrong, Vix is a celebrated ex-gladiator returned to Rome to make his fortune. The sinuous, elusive Sabina is a senator's daughter who craves adventure. Sometimes lovers, sometimes enemies, Vix and Sabina are united by their devotion to Trajan. But others are already maneuvering in the shadows. Trajan's ambitious Empress has her own plans for Sabina. And the aristocratic Hadrian-the Empress's ruthless protégé and Vix's mortal enemy-has ambitions he confesses to no one, ambitions rooted in a secret prophecy.
When Trajan falls, the hardened soldier, the enigmatic empress, the adventurous girl, and the scheming politician will all be caught in a deadly whirlwind of desire and death that may seal their fates, and that of the entire Roman Empire...
About the Author
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.