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The Theodosian Women #1

Twilight Empress

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Twilight Empress tells the little-known story of a remarkable woman—Galla Placidia, sister to one of the last Roman Emperors. Roman princess, Gothic captive and queen—Placidia does the unthinkable—she rules the failing Western Roman Empire—a life of ambition, power and intrigue she doesn’t seek, but can’t refuse. Her actions shape the face of Western Europe for centuries. A woman as well as an Empress, Placidia suffers love, loss, and betrayal. Can her strength, tenacity and ambition help her survive and triumph over scheming generals, rebellious children, and Attila the Hun? Or will the Dark Ages creep closer and bring down the Empire?

350 pages, Kindle Edition

Published May 12, 2017

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About the author

Faith L. Justice

12 books60 followers
Faith L. Justice is a science geek and history junkie who writes award-winning novels, short stories, and articles in her historic Brooklyn home. She’s published in venues such as Salon.com, Writer's Digest, Strange Horizons, The Copperfield Review and Circles in the Hair.

You can read her stories, interviews with famous authors, and sample chapters of her novels at her website . Check out her blog for historical fiction book reviews, interviews with HF authors, "History in the News" roundups and giveaways.

Faith lives with her husband, daughter and the required gaggle of cats. For fun, she likes to dig in the dirt—her garden and various archaeological sites.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews
Profile Image for Jane.
1,564 reviews177 followers
April 4, 2020
Enthralling recounting of the life of Galla Placidia, sister to Emperor Honorius, 5th century. Captured by the Goths, she falls in love with Athauf, Gothic noble who is later elected king. He falls in love with her and they marry. After his death, she returns to her brother and is forced to marry General Constantius, later emperor. She becomes involved in politics and is regent for her son, Valentinian, until his majority. Through her life, she is involved in politics. Fascinating novel about a strong woman, enormously influential in the waning days of the Western Roman Empire. Well-written, with sympathetic characters.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Melisende.
1,039 reviews119 followers
June 29, 2019
I chose this novel through NetGalley as I know quite a bit about Galla - she was not an unfamiliar historical figure. Having said that, I was just not feeling it. Maybe it was due to my knowledge of the period and the people ...

I will say that this will make a good introductory novel on the period for someone just starting out - it is not overly bogged down with detail; the chapters are short and snappy; and the epilogue and author's note at the end will encourage the reader to discover further.
Profile Image for Monica Hills.
906 reviews25 followers
March 7, 2018
I really wanted to love this novel but the pacing was off. I love a novel about a strong woman especially one that is based on a real person. The problem I had with this novel was that the characters were not developed enough. Just when I started to enjoy the storyline it changed and I was reading about someone new. I never fully got to know the characters or care about them. I was really disappointed with this book. The foundation is here but it needs work.
Profile Image for Elysium.
389 reviews53 followers
September 29, 2017
3,5 stars

Sister to a Western Roman Emperor, Placidia is taken captive by the Goths when they attack Rome. During her captivity, she learned much about their way of life and falls in love with their king Ataulf. When Placidia is forced to return to Rome she has learned enough about strength and ruling to survive the Roman political life.

I don’t know anything about Roman history in this era so this was really fascinating. Rome changed a lot during Placidia’s life and it has a great effect on her life. I liked Placidia and wanted to know what happens to her next. I liked how she was willing to learn the Gothic way of life during her life there. She managed to hold power for so long in a Roman political life which was a world of men, and that was admirable. Without her, Rome would have completely fallen apart much sooner.

There was enough action so there was no dull moment and I really enjoyed the book. It seems to be the start of a series and I can’t wait to read the next one.
Profile Image for Stephanie (Bookfever).
1,001 reviews113 followers
May 17, 2018
If there's a type of story I like more than anything it's books about little-known and strong women from history. As someone who's a self-proclaimed history geek I always jump on the chance to read books like this. That's why I loved Twilight Empress so much, along with several other reasons I will state below. It's also been a long time since I stayed up late to finish a book, which is what I did with this one. I just couldn't stop reading and had this intense need to know how it all would end.

Twilight Empress takes place in the 5th century in the Western Roman Empire that is declining steadily and Placidia is the sister to one of the last Roman Emperors, Honorius. The story starts with her having to flee and getting taken hostage by Alaric, king of the Visigoths who successfully sacked Rome. I can sincerely say I was hooked right from the very first page. The story and the character of Placidia as well as several of the side characters fascinated me so much. It was hard to put the book down because I didn't want to stop reading.

What captivated me the most, though, was the writing. I loved the lush descriptions because they made me really feel as if I was in the Late Antiquity that the story takes place in. That's honestly all I want from a story, especially when it's historical fiction. As for secondary characters, I loved so many of them. I absolutely loved Placidia's first husband Ataulf (who was also king of the Visigoths), Lucilla, Sigisvult... so there was definitely no lack of great characters to get invested in and rooting for.

There were so many various themes in this book that I almost couldn't keep track of them. There's love, revenge, loss, obligation and so on. Placidia felt it all so very deeply and changed immensely from the beginning of the book until the very end. The tragedies she experienced throughout her life were extremely sad but they also gave her the purpose to go on. I must admit that I didn't always liked her as a person but that's why her character developement was remarkably on point in that area, which is something that I think is very important in any book. The author did that very nicely.

As always I would highly recommend any future readers of this book to read the author's note because she goes more into how historically accurate the story actually was (I think she did well in that area) and how she shaped the story. She mentions in it that she fell in love with the Theodosian women: Placidia, Pulcheria and Athenais. Those last two were also characters in this book. I can say that I feel the same now because I just want to research them and learn everything there is to know about them. Overall, I really enjoyed Twilight Empress and can't wait to read more books by Faith L. Justice. I want to read them all!
5,539 reviews
September 19, 2017
Twilight Empress is a pretty good read by Faith L Justice. This is not exactly my favorite time period to read in historical fiction but the author had a way of keeping my interest and want to keep reading. I really liked Placidia and wanted to see what else would happen to her next. She is one strong woman that endured so much and overcame.

I would give this book 4 ½ stars and recommend it to those who love historical fiction.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

Profile Image for Martina.
59 reviews9 followers
January 4, 2018
TWILIGHT EMPRESS by Faith L. Justice is exactly the type of book I mention when people ask me why I love Historical Fiction so much. Like the author, I’m a history junkie, so I appreciate her writing style and the research and time it takes to create a story set during an era long forgotten.

Placidia is a wonderful character. She’s not one accept her fate when things get tough, and sadly, that was a lot! She’s strong and loving and gracious. She’s not someone I’ve heard of before and I completely devoured her story. In times such as this, it’s nice to read about a strong woman in a man’s world.

I’m thrilled I was able to learn something new while reading this book. It’s an incredible and inspirational journey.

I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Cathy.
1,218 reviews229 followers
September 27, 2017
Find all my book reviews, plus author interviews, guest posts and book extracts, on my blog: https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/

Twilight Empress is the first book in Faith L Justice’s Theodosian Women series. Future books will focus on Pulcheria, sister of Emperor Theodosius, and Athenais, his wife. On the strength of Twilight Empress, I shall certainly look out for the subsequent books.

Full disclosure – I was about a fifth of the way through Twilight Empress when I started to get the feeling the story was familiar. I finally remembered that I read another book about Placidia (Nobilissima by Carrie Bedford) a few years ago. All credit to this author’s skill that I didn’t feel the story I was reading was rehashing old ground. In fact, what I really liked was the way the author breathed life and personality into the characters around the bare bones of the known historical facts.

The story opens with the sacking of Rome and capture of Placidia, sister of the Western Roman Emperor Honorius, by King Alaric of the Goths. Alaric hopes to use Placidia as a bargaining chip to persuade Honorius to grant the Goths land and food in return for peace. This method of negotiation will become very familiar as the book progresses since this is a story characterised by intrigue, betrayal, political manoeuvring, treachery and murder. But it is also a convincingly told human story of love and loss set against larger political events.

The message that emerges is a universal and seemingly eternal one: that the source of most conflict is a desire for security, for enough food and a place to call home and in which to raise a family. As if we needed reminding, it also recalls that when the powerful plot and scheme, it is the ordinary people that suffer.

In Placidia, the author gives us a convincing picture of a strong, capable woman with as much courage, guile and intellect as any of her male contemporaries but with the misfortune to be born a woman in an age when – even as a member of the Imperial family – that consigned her to the role of wife and mother. Although not conventionally beautiful (for the times), it seems these characteristics, and her innate contradictions, made Placidia particularly attractive to men because she inspired lifelong devotion in many of them.

This remarkable woman outlived two husbands, survived capture and imprisonment, navigated her way through political intrigue and frequent plots against her, dying eventually of old age but not before she had seen off plenty of enemies, either by outwitting them or by more violent means: ‘You forgot I am a princess, raised in the Imperial court. Treachery and betrayal were my tutors and playfellows. Revenge is not only a Gothic custom.’

I really enjoyed reading her story in Twilight Empress.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author and HF Virtual Book Tours in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Lauralee.
Author 2 books19 followers
October 2, 2017
Twilight Empress tells the story of Galla Placidia, one of Rome’s last empresses. Galla Placidia is a Roman princess. One night the Goths invaded Rome through a form of betrayal on the Romans’ part. They kidnap Galla Placidia and hold her hostage in order to negotiate with Placidia’s brother, Emperor Honorius. Galla Placidia eventually falls in love with Ataulf, the king of the Visigoths, and marries him. When Ataulf is assassinated, Galla Placidia goes back to Rome and reluctantly marries Constantius, her brother’s right-hand man. She urges Constantius to persuade Honorius to make him Emperor and she Augusta. Thus, throughout Galla Placidia’s reign, she faces many political conflicts in her realm. Galla Placidia strives to protect her empire from falling.

Twilight Empress has made Galla Placidia into a relatable and sympathetic character. She is strong and determined. She faces many tragedies. However, she overcomes them. She mostly makes the best of every situation she’s in. She inspires the loyalty and love of her subjects. Still, Galla Placidia has her flaws. She can be selfish, judgemental, and ambitious. Despite these flaws, Galla Placidia is a likable character. It’s clear that she is married to her empire. She will do whatever she can to save it. Thus, Galla Placidia mostly reminded me of Elizabeth I.

Overall, this book is about love, tragedy, sacrifice, and duty. While Galla Placidia is a complex character, the other supporting characters are not. They are all static characters. Some of them can be a bit cartoonish, like Emperor Valentinian and Emperor Honorius. Galla Placidia’s relationships with her family and friends are not given enough depth. Therefore, I would really adore this book more if it was given more depth and character development. Still, Twilight Empress is a fast-paced historical novel that is filled with romance, political and courtly intrigue, and drama that it will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens to her. I can’t wait to read the next book in The Theodosian Women series about Empress Pulcheria. Twilight Empress will appeal to fans of Margaret George, Libbie Hawker, and Ki Longfellow.
(Note: This book was given to me as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.)
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,339 reviews31 followers
September 11, 2017
Galla Placida is sister to one of the last Roman Emperors in 400 AD. As a young woman Placida is captured by the Goths. Growing up in their camps, she comes to respect their way of life and skills. Placida especially enjoys the company of Ataulf. She eventually marries Ataulf and becomes Queen of the Goths by his side, helping with decisions and in battle. Placida's brother, however, sees her marriage to Ataulf as a political move by the Goths and orders her home. Unfortunately, Ataulf is killed in a plan to overthrow him. Placida is captured and uses her strength and intelligence to escape and enact revenge. Now, she must return to her brother and the marriage that he has arranged for her; although, she returns with a groups loyal to her until the very end.

Placida is a force to be reckoned with. I am so happy I got the chance to learn about her life. Even though women were not allowed to rule in their own right, Placida managed to keep Rome together in its dying days. I was amazed by her patience and willingness to understand and learn from the Goths when she was originally captured instead of just fight back. She seemed to continually look at decisions long term and for the good of her people and land. The story follows Placida from a young women to her death. I very much enjoyed watching her grow and seeing how she hand a hand in political decisions through her brother, both of her husbands and her son. As conflict rose throughout the territories and Placida aged, Placida's job became more and more difficult. Through the writing, I got a wonderful sense of Placida's character while sticking to the history of the time period. Overall, a breathtaking and immense journey through one inspirational and impactful woman's life in Rome.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Brian.
Author 48 books144 followers
May 20, 2019
Galla Placidia is one of the most interesting women in the ancient world. Daughter of the emperor Theodosius, she was taken prisoner by the Goths when they sacked Rome and ended up married to the Gothic leader Ataulf. Then, after the Goths were defeated, her brother Honorius obliged her to marry the Roman general, and subsequent emperor, Constantius III. All this swapping sides must have required considerable cultural dexterity and fortitude. Yet until now she has been surprisingly neglected by historical novelists.

In Twilight Empress Faith Justice seeks to redress the balance. The result is a strongly drawn portrait of a powerful and clever woman. However, this is historical romance with the emphasis on the romance. Consequently, the emotional drama is always uppermost and at times the character and the emotional narrative take on a distinctly modern feel that seems slightly out of sync with the period.
Profile Image for RoloPoloBookBlog.
1,102 reviews30 followers
October 6, 2019
Twilight Empress by Faith L. Justice
Book #1: The Theodosian Women Series
Source: NetGalley and Raggedy Moon Books
Rating: 5/5 stars

In my non-book reading, reviewing, and blogging life, I am a trained Art Historian who has been teaching Art History for nigh on twenty years. For most of these years, I have taught a wonderfully preserved and beautifully decorated site in Ravenna, Italy known as the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. Though there is little remaining, historically speaking, about her life, what we do know as fact is terribly fascinating and indicative of a woman far, far ahead of her time and place.

I knew going into Twilight Empress there would be a greater emphasis on the fiction part of historical fiction. This is often a very tricky thing for an author when there is so little to be relied upon from the historical record and if it isn’t dealt with in just the right way, the book becomes an absolute disaster. From the first chapter I knew I had something special: Justice has taken what little there is, historically, and woven those precious few facts into a compelling story about a woman bound and determined to protect her rightful place in the world and ensure the places of her children.

As with so many women of the period, and particularly royal women, Galla Placidia was seen as a pawn, a piece to be placed in the game of thrones. As a member of the royal family of the failing Roman Empire, Galla Placidia faced great adversity and was used by her family to their advantage rather than her own. However, Galla Placidia refused to be anyone’s pawn and with her strength, capabilities, education, and connections, she was often able to turn incredibly difficult situations into something good or, at the very least, tolerable. Case in point: her first marriage was to her captor and her second to a man she was never able to love. The first marriage brought Galla Placidia the title of Queen and the respect of many among the barbarian hordes, the second marriage brought her two children, an elevated royal title among her own family, and the assurances of her son’s right to inherit the throne. To be sure, Galla Placidia knew how to use her intelligence, how to manipulate when necessary, and how to remain loyal and worthy of respect and loyalty in the worst of circumstances.

The Bottom Line: This was my first Faith L. Justice read and it certainly will not be my last. Justice took the story of a woman I have long been interested in and created a world in which she has once again come to life. From her time amongst the Goths to her reign over the western half of the Roman Empire, Galla Placidia led with integrity, loyalty, shrewdness, and cunning. Though I was familiar with her story prior to reading this book, I found myself completely entranced and loving the heavily fictionalized portion of this solid historical fiction. I found every aspect of this book to be well-researched, well-written, and woven together (the history with the fiction) is a most pleasing manner. As if this all weren’t enough, Twilight Empress is just the first of the books in The Theodosian Women series.
Profile Image for Story Circle Book Reviews.
636 reviews61 followers
May 7, 2018
Faith Justice's Twilight Empress is historical fiction about Italian aristocracy between 410 and 461 A.D. It is well researched and written with twisted plot developments and great characters. The protagonist, a little-known Roman Empress and Gothic Queen Placidia suffers loss, love and betrayal. Palace intrigue is almost like a secondary character. Her innate intelligence and tenaciousness are a winning combination but at the cost of great personal sacrifice.

As her Roman palace is overrun by barbarian Goths, Placidia is captured and spends the next few years in caravan life. She is treated with respect and honor, though she is still a captive. Classic Stockholm Syndrome plays out on the pages. She reluctantly falls in love with and marries her captor, the Goth general who soon becomes King and she the Goth Queen. They have a beloved son who dies of disease when only a few months old. A few months later, a begrudging junior officer assassinates the king, her husband. Losing her protector, she and few a loyal servants flee the Goths and seek refuge with her brother, the Roman Emperor.

Several years later, in her brother's court, Placidia marries a long-time admirer and has two more children. First, a daughter who equals her mother in cunning, intelligence, and an understanding of the intrigue of palace politics. Then she has a son who loves to play soldier, a sweet boy who lacks foresight as well as the necessary aptitude to be a strong ruler.

The threat to western civilization seems unstoppable and constant, thwarted only by Placidia's shrewd actions and clever schemes against treacherous generals and their palace spies. Her half-brother, Honorius, proves to be incompetent, and ambitious; traitors manipulate him to turn against his sister. Her tenacious resolve that her son follows his uncle as the next Emperor to rule the Roman Empire threads through the novel.

Placidia, the woman who for so many years ruled the strongest nation in western civilization as regent for her young son, suffers a series of strokes and dies with many regrets—amid much fanfare. Her biggest regrets are her self-perceived mistakes as a mother.

This is an excellent novel for those who know little about world history during the decline of the Roman Empire. Despite the many changes since then, the power of maternal love remains one of the strongest human connections.

by Ann McCauley
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
Profile Image for Sara.
219 reviews8 followers
October 4, 2019
I received an advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This rendering of the story of Galla Placidia exceeded my expectations, and it improved page after page. The beginning, with her being captured by the Visigoths, dragged me immediately in ancient Rome and hooked me up. Placidia immediately showed up as a heroine, a brave woman who is an empress not only for her social position and wealth but also because she is great inside. I'm Italian and at school we obviously study Roman history, but textbooks are mainly about who reigned when/who invaded a territory/what happened next/who did what and so on, so students don't really have a chance (unless they decide to do further studies on their own) to learn more about the personality of the figures they study ot, in this case, about the women who reigned behind the men. So this was a nice discovery. I found very interesting the note of the author at the end of the book, where she explains in detail which events are historical and which are fictional. There is not much about Placidia in historical records, so I think the author made a good job drawing Placidia's personality, I think she had the right intuition.
The only thing I would change about this book is the same I'd do with most of historical novels: shortening them a bit. In this case, I think the first 20% of the book, where Placidia adapts to her life with the Visigoths, could have been a bit shorter. I found it quite "slow" and I couldn't read more than 2/3 pages per day (sometimes I paused for a few days and read something else). After that the story seemed to get a better pace, but I think that when things like this happen it's bad for a book, because a reader (unless strongly motivated) may decide to give the book up and not finish it.
All in all, a very pleasant and well-written reading.
464 reviews6 followers
October 15, 2022
One of the dilemmas for a historical novelist is knowing the context and events backwards as author, but writing in such a way that you bring a reader who does not know them along with you. In this, Faith L. Justice (surely not her real name!) gives as much support as she can, with a family tree and a list of characters as they appear chronologically in the book, with helpful italicizing of the names of those she invented.

My awareness of the emotional resonances of Placidia's story came solely from this book because the other sources do not provide them, and because there is space for a fictional author to explore the emotional realm. But I don't think that I would have detected the broader factual events of her life from this book alone, something that could have been remedied with a timeline of major events, perhaps, and a few maps.

Of course, the emotional realm is where an author can exercise their imagination, but the historiographical field of 'History of the Emotions' signals to us that emotions are not constant across time and societies. Some emotional responses will always be impenetrable to us as 21st century readers and this would be even more true of classical times. So the 'romantic' scenes in the book, which had a decidedly modern tenor, did not sit well with me, veering at times into Mills and Boon territory.

However, one of my motivations for reading this book was to reinforce what I have learned about Ancient Rome recently in a less weighty form, and in that, the book succeeded well. Faith L. Justice gave Placidia agency, -albeit limited- both in her emotional life and in her political behaviour, providing a good counter to all those histories of battles and betrayals amongst the men of Rome.

For my complete review, please visit:
130 reviews3 followers
July 13, 2019
This is a great book! Before reading this novel I knew very little about ancient Rome as this era in history has never really grabbed my attention before. The book follows the life of Galla Placidia Augusta, the half sister of the Western Roman Emperor Flavius Honorius Augustus, beginning with the first time Rome was sacked in 800 years when Placidia was a teenager. She is taken as a hostage by the Visigoths but later becomes their Queen after falling in love with the King. After her husband's murder, she becomes a slave who leads a rebellion, returns to her bother to be married to his loyal general who then becomes co- Emperor raising Placida to status of joint Empress but sadly she is widowed for a second time and must fight for her son's inheritance to the Roman diadem. Galla Placida Augusta is like the ancient Roman she-wolf (foster mother to Romulus and Remus), with as much drama and political savvy to rival Margaret of Anjou. Throughout this book you are introduced to other Theodosian women - Aelia Pulcheria who took guardianship of her brother the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosian III at the tender age of 14, holding the reins of government successfully until her brother's majority and continued to advise him and Aelia Eudocia Augusta, a woman of great beauty who was born a pagan and a daughter of a philosopher whose marriage to Theodosian III caused a scandal. These two women are the focus of the second and third books in the series and I can't wait!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy of this book in a return for an honest review. All opinion are my own.
Profile Image for Meg - A Bookish Affair.
2,445 reviews203 followers
October 4, 2017
3.5 stars. In "Twilight Empress," Rome, once seen as unshakeable, is falling. Placidia becomes Empress at a time where Rome's power is slowly leaking. Never fully wanting power, Placidia steps up to the plate to rule Rome and try to take it back to stable ground. It's a fascinating story of a powerful woman and one that I was not really familiar with before.

This book covers a lot of what Placidia does to rule the empire and how she tries to consolidate power once again through various political alliances. And while all of this is interesting in itself, I was also interested in Placidia as a person. Here is a woman that tries to put on a brave face about the duties thrust upon her. Meanwhile she is trying to be a good mother to her children. I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between Placidia and her children. Oh boy, does she have her hands full in many different ways. As a mother myself, I found a lot of comfort in the idea that there are universal things like sibling rivalry that a mother must deal with (even when she doesn't have an empire to rule). The juxtaposition between Placidia trying to keep both her empire and her family together was interesting.

I really liked reading the descriptions of Rome in decline, just because it's a view that I haven't seen very often. I feel like most of my bookish jaunts to Ancient Rome have been in its heyday and this Rome was much different. The descriptions were good!

Overall, this was a good read that gave me a new perspective. It was a promising start to a new series!
9 reviews
August 28, 2023
We need more historical fiction set in Late Antiquity and more historical fiction about powerful women. Twilight Empress meets both those needs. It is a portrait worth reading of Galla Placidia. I was intruiged by her the first time I heard about her, and I loved reading from her perspective, and that of the people around her who loved and/or respected her.
That being said, it is a portrait of Placidia only. I missed the wider picture in this book. The developments in and around the Empire are only shown in snapshot scenes. The events often seem to come out of nowhere, and disappear again from the narrative (but not from history) once Placidia has dealt with them. I would have liked it if there had been a thread of narrative connecting it all together.
The Western Empire was crumbling around Placidia, but I did not get that feel from the book. Of course, it starts with the sack of Rome, so it can hardly get any worse than that, but surely Placidia would have recognised the fact that the once-great Empire was nearing its fall. She is more concerned with Val being Emperor, than what he is to be Emperor of.
Still, I enjoyed the book, and can recommend it to anyone interested in this period. If you know about the historical developments in this era, you can keep them in the back of your mind to supplement the story of Placidia.
Profile Image for Clare.
10 reviews
May 15, 2019
An interesting read about Galla Placidia, sister of one of the last Roman Emperors and a key figure in the history of the time. I knew little about her, so was fascinated to learn more about her life and the political intrigues in the final days of the Empire. The book is well-researched and offers lots of interesting details about life in the era, but without being unnecessarily erudite or tedious.

The character of Placidia is well-drawn and very believable, the other characters perhaps slightly less so because the book focuses so heavily on the protagonist. The difficult role of women in antiquity and the troubled relationship between Placidia and her children are also dealt with in the book and could perhaps have been explored even further. It would also have been interesting to know a little more about the cultural differences between the Roman and Gothic cultures.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the others in the series.
Profile Image for Penmouse.
411 reviews7 followers
June 2, 2019
Twilight Empress by Faith Justice is a mighty fine book as the author craftily draws the reader into the world of Placida who is the sister of one Rome's last emperors. Through the author's good writing I was able to gain. a view of what she must have lived through in order to survive. In the end Placida finds love among the Goths after she marries Goth leader Ataulf. Thanks to her book I plan. to read more about Placida, as if you believe some historical records, she is a distant relative; and perhaps a distant grandmother of mine.


Review written after downloading a galley from NetGalley.
Profile Image for Donna Pingry.
214 reviews5 followers
July 11, 2019
I see another series in my future! This was such an interesting book. I found myself wondering how anyone could go through all the heroine, Augusta Galla Placidia did. Then I googled her and found out she probably went through even more! I knew so little about this fascinating female who lived, loved and carved out a place in history for herself and her descendents.

The author certainly created wonderful personalities for her characters. It was so hard to put this book down. Well earned 5 stars!
Profile Image for Ginger Pollard.
376 reviews3 followers
August 27, 2019
This book is based on the Empress Placidia of the Theodosian Empire. It's one of those books about historical fiction that starts out so good and just gets better and better! I enjoyed it very much! She's a little known lady who lived in the fifth century but she had a huge impact for her time. A very interesting story that keeps the reader's attention! Well developed characters and very well written book! I look forward to reading more from this author.
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Thank you so much, Netgalley!
All opinions are my own.
50 reviews
January 13, 2022
Highly recommended as a well-written and enjoyable change from WW II historical fiction! I learned a lot about the years leading up to the fall of the Roman Empire, which might have come sooner without the strategic efforts of Imperial Princess Galla Placidia. She had a fascinating life, including being captured by the barbarian Goths as a young woman, and eventually falling in love with and marrying their King. The author portrays the constraints of being a woman, especially a royal one, in the Roman world.
Profile Image for Eileen Donovan.
Author 6 books17 followers
September 24, 2022
Although this is a period of history that doesn't usually interest me, I became totally captivated by the stories of these three women and the influence they wielded over the Western Empires. Placidia's determination to preserve her heritage and pass it on to her children, as well as maintain Roman rule throughout the greater Empire was fascinating. She never shirked from her goals, even when that meant losing respect from some who she thought were allies. A fascinating book and extreemtly enjoyable. Although I came to this series late, I look forward to reading the next installment.
Profile Image for Trick Wiley.
957 reviews4 followers
August 14, 2019
I have always loved Roman history,Roman stories and this is so not disappointing! Full of love,fighting,hate,power,it's all in this gripping story of a woman who rules! The characters are real,they come to life for you through the history of Roman and invaders! Net Gallery let me read this well researched book! You won't be disappointed in this story! Loved the picture on the front of the book of the ruling Princess! Can you even trust your own family,what about your friends?
1,021 reviews
February 18, 2023
The Roman Empire in AD 400s is not an era I knew much about so I found this book engaging. A fictionalization of the life of Galla Placidia, sister to Emperor Honorius. She was apparently quite a powerful person at the time. Kidnapped and held hostage by the Goths, she eventually married the Goth King Ataulf for love. After his death, she returned to Rome, remarried, and her son Valentinian became Emperor. Placidia was quite a strong-willed and ruthless woman
Profile Image for Liliyana Shadowlyn.
2,495 reviews75 followers
December 13, 2020
I have to admit, I'd never heard of Placidia before this book. I found her story interesting, and even though the book is based on a historical figure's life, it wasn't dry. I loved following her journey, and watching her change throughout the years of her life as her circumstances changed. A great read for those interested in a strong woman in ancient Rome.
Profile Image for Sekhar N Banerjee.
299 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2018
A good read

It was really a delightful and informative read. The standard history books do not say much about characters depicted in this book. This really improved my understanding of the situations in the waning days of the western empire.
Profile Image for Jeanette.
1,129 reviews56 followers
August 11, 2019
I am not really familiar with this period in history and have never heard of Galla Placidia up until now. The book was interesting and easy to read. She was certainly a remarkable woman! I can recommend this book, especially if you enjoy this period in history.
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