3.5 stars. Sixth century Byzantium is not a time period I normally read about and I had never heard of Theodora before, but her story sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did! I enjoyed Theodora’s story – a performer-turned-whore-turned-high-class-courtesan-becomes- empress rags to riches story. The middle of the story plods along though as Theodora’s journey involves a sort of religious exile of sorts in northern Africa and some of the religious discussions and debates didn’t hold my interest.