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Too Soon the Night

By: James Conroyd Martin
Narrated by: James Gillies
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"A gorgeous tapestry of impeccable research and intricate worldbuilding." (Kate Quinn, author of The Empress of Rome series)

Although Too Soon the Night can be listened to as a stand-alone novel, it continues the story of Theodora, as told by eunuch Stephen, where Fortune’s Child leaves off: after her marriage to Justinian and her taking a new stage as Empress of the New Rome.

Together, Justinian and Theodora reach for greatness, albeit in different areas: Justinian aims to simplify thousands of old Roman laws into one codex, as well as reconquer Rome and other lands lost to barbarians. Theodora longs to close the chasm between two religious beliefs, establish significant rights for women, and ensure that the Justinian-Theodora bloodline continues.

Unforeseen cataclysmic events with which the royal pair must contend include the first worldwide pandemic and a city uprising that places their dual throne and very lives at risk. 

©2021 James Conroyd Martin (P)2021 James Conroyd Martin

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  • Leah
  • 06-10-22

Well-narrated and well- told story

So glad I continued Theodora’s story in Too Soon the Night. Amazing life well-imaged by James Conroyd Martin as he filled in the blanks where written history isn’t available. Narration is excellent.

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  • Jamie
  • 13-10-21


I loved this second book in the Empress Theodora duology. Simply great. I love books about Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora. This is very well done historical fiction and I’m happy to see the “secret history” has been rebuffed as the false account that it was. Highly recommend!