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Mistress of Rome Paperback – Bargain Price, April 6, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Despite the two young women's differences in social standing, Thea is quickly vying with her mistress for the affections of the barbarian gladiator Arius, and infuriates the young patrician by her success with the fighter. Sold to appease Lepida's wrath, Thea embarks on a road that will take her down an even darker path than through the barracks of the arena, with the only key to her freedom lying in the hands of the emperor, Domitian. But Domitian has a dark side, and a woman from Thea's past envies her position at the emperor's side.
Clever weaving of historical fact, "facts" gleaned from ancient authorship, and original invention makes this a compelling read; historical inaccuracy is minimal and employed for story purposes rather than out of error. The Domitian-era setting was a refreshing one; this is one of the few high-imperial novels that I have come across.
Recommended for readers looking for character-driven plot and excellent development; the heroes and their supporting castmembers are endearing and sympathetic.
Series: Not a series but the author is working on companion novels (a prequel and a sequel).
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance
© April 2010, Berkeley Trade
Kate Quinn's Website
Rating: 5 stars
Available wherever books are sold!
This is the debut of, whom I foresee, to be the next New York Times Bestselling author: Kate Quinn. Mistress of Rome is a fast-paced, emotionally charged, sensual exploration of life in Ancient Rome during the reign of Emperor Domitian. From the first page to the last the reader is instantly embroidered into a world of emotion, sensuality, and political intrigue.
The plot of this story centers around a slave girl, Thea, and her transgression through Roman life. Thea is last survivor of the siege of the Jewish fort of Masada in Israel. Lepida, Thea's mistress (owner), is one of those characters you love to hate. Lepida has a liking to three things: money, power, and men. Arius, is a gladiator (a very successful gladiator) who Lepida decides to target as her next play thing. One problem. Arius and Thea, fall in love. Lepida quickly finds out and sells Thea to a whore house, separating Thea and Arius.
Thea is pregnant and is to sold to a musician who trains her to sing and play the lyre. As her fame grows Thea catches the eye of the emperor. The emperor is intrigued by Athena, Thea's stage name, and deems her his mistress thus beginning her journey as The Mistress of Rome.
The characters in this book are so realistic. The whole way you feel their angst, their pain, and their lust. You grow to love them and some you grow to hate.Read more ›
Then I had to struggle to stay with it.
The constantly changing first person points of view to me were distracting, particularly when the sub heading to show who was speaking was a few pages ago, and while the characterization is strong, the two female leads are so similar in manner of speech and thought (very dark), I often had to stop to really consider who was speaking and found it distracting.
By the time a character entered that I could relate to and lightened the mood somewhat, I was exhausted from the depths of despair the main characters constantly live in and having been in their heads for so long in that rotating first person POV.
The historical inaccuracies to that point were distracting as well. While they may have been made to fit the story, I would rather the story have fit the known facts of that era though this may not bother the general reader.
Where I finally gave up midway through, and I rarely leave a book unfinished, was when the author chose to have the gladiator take in a wounded female dog and name her after his lost love in what I felt to be so over the top symbolic and predictable I couldn't continue anymore.
Which I found very sad, because in a few places of dialogue I see Kate Quinn's brilliance, and one particular passage of narrative covering Arius's months of street fighting was so strong and powerful, evoking emotion on a level not usually found by a first time author.
I would have liked more of that, and a few moments of comedy relief thrown in, and hope her sequel releasing in a few months accomplishes that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Actually, I haven't really gotten into the book as of yet - too much overtime work but I'm looking forward to major downtime so that I can read the series at one 'go'. Read morePublished 3 months ago by bookworm48
I've never read a historical fiction book as mystery and suspense are my favorite but I sure couldn't put this down once I hit about 70% on my kindle!Published 3 months ago by Avid Amazon User
I love this series, If you are just looking at it for the first time you may want to start with Daughters of Rome, but this was the one that I actually read first and it stands on... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Fox Fairy
Loved this book and bought the others in the Rome series. Couldn't put it down until it was done.Published 4 months ago by Mary Pax
OMG!!!! This book tugged at my heartstrings.
This book is soo amazing and I enjoyed every single moment I spent reading this book. Read more
Very good writing. I like the twists in the book. Great writer. I feel like I am actually there. I didn't want to put the book down.Published 7 months ago by Bella
A beautiful personification of what could have been happening in Rome around the time of Domitian. Well based in real political history -- though of course some sources favoured... Read morePublished 8 months ago by John Earls