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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Empress Theodora: The Last Autumn is a work of fiction in the historical genre, and serves as the first installment in The Doctor Alexander Diaries. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author John Kies. Set in the heart of the Roman Empire, the book follows the journey of Palace Pharmacist Alexander as he travels across the empire rebuilding his confidence after surgery costs Empress Theodora of Constantinople her life. Wrestling with his guilt and the question of whether he was truly responsible, his journey sees him learn about the life of his former patient as he seeks out absolution for what happened.
Empress Theodora: The Last Autumn is a fascinating lens to examine one of the most interesting women in ancient history in a fresh and exciting way. Theodora’s story is one that’s already known to fans of ancient history, but to use the character of Alexander to piece together her story created a dynamic and engaging retelling of her tale. Alexander as well is an engaging character in his own right, plagued by his sense of morality that would today be considered standard ethical thinking for a doctor. Empress Theodora: The Last Autumn is an extremely well-researched piece of literature both in covering the life and exploits of Theodora and in its depiction of ancient medicine. Author John Kies has written an incredibly compelling piece of historical fiction that combines the facts of history with his own original characters on a relatable journey of guilt and rebirth. I heartily recommend this book to any reader.