Elizabeth 's Reviews > Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore

Theodora by Stella Duffy
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's review
Feb 17, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction-historical-1200-1400ce
Read in February, 2012

Ambitious and interesting, well-researched, but not actually a very good novel.

It is clear that Duffy is trying to show, not tell; she just ...fails. At least when it comes to religion; Theodora's conversion has no emotional impact on me as the reader. By the end of the book, you sense that Duffy is just trying to finish; there's one sentence about how Theodora has lived in the imperial palace for five years, two of them as Justinian's wife; the wedding was, like, two pages earlier, and if you had asked me how long it had been since Theodora's return to the City, I would have said maybe a year.
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