Twilight Empress: A Novel of Imperial Rome by Faith L. Justice

Twilight Empress: A Novel of Imperial Rome
by Faith L. Justice

 

Twilight Empress tells the little-known story of a remarkable womanóGalla Placidia, sister to one of the last Roman Emperors. Roman princess, Gothic captive and queenóPlacidia does the unthinkableóshe rules the failing Western Roman Empireóa life of ambition, power and intrigue she doesnít seek, but canít 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?

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.

3,5/5

Published: Raggedy Moon Books (May 12, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

Faith L. Justice is a science geek and history junkie, which is reflected in her writing. Her short stories and poems have appeared in such publications as “The Copperfield Review”, “Beyond Science Fiction and Fantasy”, and the “Circles in the Hair” anthology. Faith has published in such venues as “Salon.com”, “Writerís Digest”, “The Writer”, and “Bygone Days”. Sheís an Associate Editor for “Space & Time Magazine”, a frequent contributor to “Strange Horizons”, and co-founded a writerís workshop more years ago than she cares to admit.

To contact Faith, read her essays and interviews, or get a sneak preview of her historical novels, visit her website at www.faithljustice.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 11
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, September 12
Feature at The Hungry Bookworm
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, September 13
Review at Book Drunkard

Thursday, September 14
Feature at The Reading Queen

Friday, September 15
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, September 18
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, September 19
Review at The Muse in the Fog Reviews

Wednesday, September 20
Guest Post & Giveaway at The Muse in the Fog Reviews

Thursday, September 21
Feature at A Holland Reads

Friday, September 22
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, September 25
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, September 26
Feature at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, September 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review & Giveaway at What Cathy Read Next

Friday, September 29
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, October 2
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, October 3
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, October 4
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 5
Review at A Bookish Affair

Deposed by David Barbaree

Deposed by David Barbaree

In a darkened cell, a brutally deposed dictator lies crippled – deprived of his power, his freedom – and his eyes.

On the edge of utter despair, his only companion is the young boy who brings him his meagre rations, a mere child who fears his own shadow. But to one who has held and lost the highest power, one thing alone is crystal clear: even emperors were mere children once.

Ten years later, the new ruler’s son watches uneasily over his father’s empire. Wherever he looks rebellion is festering, and those closest to him have turned traitor once before.

To this city in crisis comes a hugely wealthy senator from the very edge of the empire, a young and angry ward at his heels. He is witty but inscrutable, generous with his time and money to a leader in desperate need of a friend – and he wears a bandage over his blinded eyes.

The fallen emperor’s name is Nero.

But this isn’t his story. (publisher)

The book moves between two timelines: AD 68 which follows Nero when he is imprisoned and blinded in his cell. AD 79 follows Emperor Vespasian’s son Titus who is obsessed uncovering murderous plots against his father. While there is a huge cast with changing POV’s and changing timelines it was easy to follow and it’s clearly stated in what year we are on.

This is a book about what if Nero had lived it was really fascinating. I don’t know that much about this era in Roman history so can’t tell how well it kept with real history.

Marcus is a slave boy who brings Nero’s food when he is imprisoned. When Nero escapes, he takes the boy with him. No longer a slave, Marcus has some troubles adjusting to his new life and to Nero’s expectations of him. Nero has a plan to get back at the people who blinded him and Marcus has a role in it.

My only gripe about the book is that at some parts I felt the story was little far fetched and everything came so easily for Nero. But otherwise, I thought this was a great book and fabulous debut book.

4/5

Published: Bonnier Zaffre (May 4, 2017)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 480
Source: Publisher

A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica’s Rebellion by Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney, and Russell Whitfield

02_A Year of Ravens_Cover

A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica’s Rebellion by Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney, and Russell Whitfield

Britannia: land of mist and magic clinging to the western edge of the Roman Empire. A red-haired queen named Boudica led her people in a desperate rebellion against the might of Rome, an epic struggle destined to consume heroes and cowards, young and old, Roman and Celt . . . and these are their stories.

A calculating queen sees the sparks of revolt in a kingís death.

A neglected slave girl seizes her own courage as Boudica calls for war.

An idealistic tribune finds manhood in a brutal baptism of blood and slaughter.

A conflicted warrior hovers between loyalty to tribe and loyalty to Rome.

A death-haunted Druid challenges the gods themselves to ensure victory for his people.

An old champion struggles for everlasting glory in the final battle against the legions.

A fiery princess fights to salvage the pieces of her motherís dream as the ravens circle.

A novel in seven parts, overlapping stories of warriors and peacemakers, queens and slaves, Romans and Celts who cross paths during Boudicaís epic rebellion. But who will survive to see the dawn of a new Britannia, and who will fall to feed the ravens?

I’ve wanted to learn more about Boudica but haven’t actually read any books about her so this was really fascinating read. I’ve never been fan of the Romans and this didn’t make me like then any more… Although the Britons nor the Iceni were any better really…

The book consist works by seven writers and I loved how well they worked together. Some characters feature on multiple stories and while written by different authors you still feel that it’s the same character. I’ve never read a collaboration like this and I was surprised how well it worked and how much I liked it.

It was a brutal war and it surely isn’t sugar coated here, which I appreciated. We don’t have Boudica’s point of view but we see her through different people; Romans, slaves, druids, friends and daughters. I thought both sides were well presented. I felt like all of the stories could have been a whole book because I wanted to read more!

4,5/5

Published: Knight Media LLC (November 17, 2015)
Format: ebook
Pages: 440
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

A Year of Ravens Authors

Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney, and Russell Whitfield
Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney, & Russell Whitfield

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, November 13
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Saturday, November 14
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Sunday, November 15
Review at Book Babe

Monday, November 16
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, November 17
Review at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, November 18
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Interview at Unabridged Chick

Thursday, November 19
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Review at A Bookish Affair

Friday, November 20
Review at Leeanna.me

Monday, November 23
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, November 24
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, November 25
Review at A Book Drunkard

Friday, November 27
Review & Excerpt at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, November 30
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Tuesday, December 1
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Wednesday, December 2
Interview at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Thursday, December 3
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, December 4
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Saturday, December 5
Review at Bookramblings

Monday, December 7
Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, December 8
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, December 9
Review at I’m Shelfish

Thursday, December 10
Review at Boom Baby Reviews

Friday, December 11
Review at Historical Readings & Reviews

Monday, December 14
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, December 15
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, December 16
Review at A Literary Vacation
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Thursday, December 17
Review at The True Book Addict
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Friday, December 18
Review at Broken Teepee
Review, Excerpt, & Interview at Unshelfish

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Sword of the Gladiatrix by Faith L. Justice

01_Sword of the Gladiatrix Cover

Sword of the Gladiatrix by Faith L. Justice

Two women. Two swords. One victor.

An action-packed tale that exposes the brutal underside of Imperial Rome, Sword of the Gladiatrix brings to life unforgettable characters and exotic settings. From the far edges of the Empire, two women come to battle on the hot sands of the arena in Nero’s Rome: Afra, scout and beast master to the Queen of Kush; and Cinnia, warrior-bard and companion to Queen Boudica of the British Iceni. Enslaved, forced to fight for their lives and the Romans’ pleasure; they seek to replace lost friendship, love, and family in each other’s arms. But the Roman arena offers only two futures: the Gate of Life for the victors or the Gate of Death for the losers.

I’ve never read anything about female gladiators so that was new. I’ve never been huge fan of Romans and this didn’t make me like them more… Afra comes from Kush and Cinnia is a Celt from Britain so we get a look to two very different cultures.

I wish there would have been more fighting scenes. We see how Afra and Cinnia becomes slaves, we follow their lives in slavery but the actual gladiator stuff is pretty small part of the story. They were both likeable but I think they fell in love rather too quickly. I liked the parts with Boudica and I wish there would have been more of her.

It was great to read about something that hasn’t been widely written about and you can tell the author has done her research.

3,5/5

Published: Raggedy Moon Books (May 2015)
Format: eBook
Pages: 260
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author02_Faith L. Justice_Author

FAITH L. JUSTICE writes award-winning novels, short stories, and articles in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Salon.com, Writerís Digest, The Copperfield Review, the Circles in the Hair anthology, and many more. She is a frequent contributor to Strange Horizons, Associate Editor for Space and Time Magazine, and co-founded a writerís workshop many more years ago than she likes to admit. For fun, she digs in the dirtóher garden and various archaeological sites.

For more information visit Faith L. Justice’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sword of the Gladiatrix Blog Tour

Monday, June 29
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Tuesday, June 30
Guest Post at I Heart Reading
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, July 1
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Thursday, July 2
Review at Book Babe

Friday, July 3
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, July 6
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, July 7
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 8
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, July 9
Review at Genre Queen
Review at Boom Baby Reviews
Guest Post & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Friday, July 10
Review at Bookramblings
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

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