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Empress of the Seven Hills (Empress of Rome) Paperback – April 3, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Empress of Rome Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The lives of an ambitious soldier, a patrician heiress and a future emperor fatefully intersect...Quinn handles Imperial Rome with panache."

"[An] epic, sexy romp—the long-awaited sequel to Daughters of Rome...Readers will delight in the depictions of historical figures like Hadrian and Trajan, as well as the engrossing and dramatic relationships that drive this entertaining story."

Review

“[An] epic, sexy romp—the long-awaited sequel to Mistress of Rome ....Readers will delight in the depictions of historical figures like Hadrian and Trajan, as well as the engrossing and dramatic relationships that drive this entertaining story.”
-- Publishers Weekly (*Starred Review*)

“The lives of an ambitious soldier, a patrician heiress and a future emperor fatefully intersect.... Quinn handles Imperial Rome with panache.”
-- Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • Series: Empress of Rome (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780425242025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425242025
  • ASIN: 0425242021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Kate Quinn knows how to serve up a full-flavored Rome with plenty of spice. Empress of the Seven Hills is the third of her books (Mistress of Rome and Daughters of Rome), although you can get by without reading them in order. They are all page-turners, lots of fun.

As usual with Kate Quinn's books, Empress is driven along by fully-developed characters. Her main heroine, Sabina, starts out interesting and keeps developing and growing. Quinn has a way of granting her central female characters the fate they work very hard to get, but then aren't the least sure they want once they gain it. Some of the book's characters are deliciously wicked, several decidedly lusty. She depicts intelligence with depth and perception. Her smart people aren't always likeable or good, but you admire their brains. The characters we like, and there are several, keep us rooting for them with increasing fervor, and sometimes things come out as we wish. As with her other books, Empress is full of juicy relationships, both offbeat and more conventional. You won't be able to predict the paths of this cast. They kept surprising me.

Quinn is an excellent writer of dialogue. You get an intimate feel for her characters through their words. Vix, a physically commanding legionary soldier with an explosive temper, uses short, muscular expressions. Hadrian, who starts out a fairly likeable man but who increasingly reveals a cold stiffness, uses long, pompous sentences even in the middle of a military camp. Quinn chooses a contemporary idiom including the expletives you hear in 21st century America, but it works well. Quinn's dialogue never yanks me out of the past or jars me as inappropriate. I stay right there inside her characters in ancient Rome.
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4.5*, cos somehow, it didn't quite live up to Mistress of Rome. Regardless, I love Kate Quinn's opening message<3

"For Stephen, who in many ways—freckles, restlessness, short temper, loud snoring, left-handedness, dislike of horses, speed with a sword, impatience with superior officers, and that one muscle under the left shoulder blade that collects all your tension— is quite a lot like Vix."

Mistress of Rome left us with a sweet ending. Thea and Arius raised a great family on a mountaintop in the northern-most part of Britannia. And our dear, brash Vix has grown up with his own dreams to fulfill. And that's where EotSH takes us - a journey full of tribulations, love, and sacrifices.

MOR takes us through the rise and fall of Emperor Domitian, known for his cruelty and madness, while EofSH takes us through the rise and fall of the beloved Emperor Trajan. You could see the stark difference between the two Emperors - how they rule the empire, the Imperial politics that exists, the subjects and their love for their ruling Emperor. EotSH was an epic journey, taking us through the different battles specifically the Conquest of Dacia, and the War against Parthia.

I went into EotSH hoping for a sweet HEA for Vix and Sabina, had wanted the same devotion Arius had for Thea. I'm a sucker for the whole 'destiny' shebang, and it was aplenty in MOR. Their friendship began when they were just kids at their first gladiatorial game, and later when Sabina watched Vix's second gladiatorial battle when they're a little older, and when the then-Commander Trajan painted Vix's blood all over Sabina because fresh gladiator blood is supposedly able to cure epilepsia, and when they meet again when Sabina's 12 and she kissed Vix.
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Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Empress of the Seven Hills takes place during the reign of Emperor Trajan of Rome. Domitian, previous Emperor, had been assassinated in Quinn's earlier book Mistress of Rome. Reading that book first is not essential to the utter enjoyment afforded in reading Empress.

This novel centers around several distinct characters: Vix, Titus, Sabina, and Plotina. We learn of Vix, a gladiator turned legionary who maintains an on-again, off-again, passionate love affair with Sabina, in his own voice. Sabina is a wild and clever woman, who marries Hadrian (who by the end of the tale has become Emperor himself. Titus Antoninus first appears as a young, gangly youth in deep love with Sabina, but later he serves in the legions as tribune, one of the most honest and attentive. Eventually he marries Sabina's half-sister. Finally, there is Plotina, Trajan's wife and a plotting schemer par excellence. She will do anything to see her precious Hadrian come to the Imperial throne.

Characters journey from Rome to Dacia to Pannonia to Syria. The legions conquer, or put down rebellions. Vix rises through the ranks to become centurion, until at story's end, finally Emperor Hadrian appoints him one of his Praetorian Guard, after first threatening his wife and children in order to force Vix to assassinate his rivals (including Titus). The women navigate being with their husbands or lovers while living satisfied lives. Sabina at first thought marriage to Hadrian would be interesting, until she realizes he is most unsuitable to be Emperor. Unfortunately, her attempts to ensure that never happen fail, and now she must face life as the Empress herself.
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