Innocence and Gold Dust (9781681811468) – by Frances Webb

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After Eutropius’ mother dies while giving birth to him, the newborn is raised by a shepherd and his wife. The shepherd castrates the baby to increase his worth and sells him into slavery, where Eutropius eventually becomes part of a young woman’s dowry. He develops a close relationship with his new mistress, Sophie, until he is caught pandering and is released from service without financial support.

Eutropius’ struggle with his lack of social and sexual power translates into lust for political power and wealth. He is determined to overcome his outcast status and concocts devious schemes (switching brides on the Emperor and kidnapping a bishop) to reach a powerful position in society. However, as he works his way up, public outrage over such a high standing for a eunuch threatens to knock him back down again. With physical violence and verbal insults raging against him, is it possible for him to keep everything he has earned?


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