"The Purple Shroud" by Stella Duff is the second part to a two part series of books about Theodora, the Empress of Rome during the 4th century. I would recommend reading the first one, "Theodora, Actress, Empress, Whore" first as there were a few times when I didn't really know what was going on or couldn't see the importance of what was happening. It isn't necessary, however, I could still follow the storyline. This novel has a LOT of history crammed into it. I needed to google a few things here and there because I am not really up on my Roman Empire knowledge. I took a World Civilization class in college once, but that didn't really cover it. Justinian is one of the last Emperors of Rome and Theodora was his Empress. She was really more of a co-ruler. She was not just there for breeding purposes, in fact, she couldn't have children. She fought for women's rights and looked out for the common people as well as the whores. She set up homes for former prostitutes and worked with establishing women into society as independent people, if possible.
Some of this book got a little boring because of my lack of knowledge. It became more than what was entertainment. The novel as a whole was good. I think I'm going to read the first book, too. I received this book for free from www.netgalley.com.