Fortune's Child by James Conroyd Martin

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From a very young age, Theodora, daughter of a circus bearkeeper in Constantinople, sets her sights well above her station in life. Her exquisite beauty sets her apart on stages and in the eyes of men.

Stephen, a Syrian lad of striking good looks, is sold by his parents to a Persian wizard, who teaches him a skill in languages that will serve him well.
By the time Destiny brings them together in Antioch, Theodora has undergone heartrending trials and a transformation, while Stephen has been sold again . . . and castrated.
Discover the enduring bond that, however imperfect, prompts Theodora--as Empress--to request palace eunuch Stephen to write her biography.

Martin's "settings and characters come to life in meticulously researched detail. I felt like I was there." --Lisa Wingate, New York Times Bestselling Author of Before We Were Yours

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