Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

TItle:  Mistress of Rome

Author:  Kate Quinn

Genre:  Historical Fiction

About:  (Goodreads synopsis)  Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, passionate, musical, and guarded. Purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia, Thea will become her mistress’s rival for the love of Arius the Barbarian, Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator. His love brings Thea the first happiness of her life-that is quickly ended when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.

As Lepida goes on to wreak havoc in the life of a new husband and his family, Thea remakes herself as a polished singer for Rome’s aristocrats. Unwittingly, she attracts another admirer in the charismatic Emperor of Rome. But Domitian’s games have a darker side, and Thea finds herself fighting for both soul and sanity. Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin. But in the end, the life of the brilliant and paranoid Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor’s mistress.

My thoughts:  Kate Quinn’s characters are fully formed and her setting was carefully researched. Mistress of Rome is a story full of intrigue, politics, and romance – all come together to make for a good read.  At times it got too gory for me but I guess that made the gladiator scenes all the more real. One of the characters seemed really over the top but she moved the story forward – that’s for sure. All in all, it is an entertaining novel.

Recommend?  I think fans of historical (Roman) fiction might enjoy it!

Source:  I bought it.

18 thoughts on “Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

  1. I have this in my tbr pile and have read many great reviews for it but no one mentioned the gladiator scenes. Thanks for the forewarning. Hopefully I can get through the gore.


  2. I have this on my list. I enjoy historical fiction set in Rome and I’m glad to hear this is worth a look.


  3. I’ve never read Roman historical fiction, I tend to be in England all the time ;P You know the petticoats… corsets… white gloves… and oops must not forget the rakes with their breeches & boots.

    Noting this one down and will be well prepared for the gory scenes.


  4. I haven’t read a historical book set in Rome yet….I have a couple on my shelves that I ought to try out first huh?? Great review.


  5. I love seriously ancient fiction but the violence (as here) usually turns me off. I wish they could say “plug in battle scene here” and have done with it!


  6. I hope to get to this one soon. I really enjoyed her first one. I found the gladiator scenes in that one quite gory too but she sure does write an entertaining story.


  7. I suppose the gladiator scenes would it make more historically accurate so that wouldn’t bother me too much. I do enjoy books set in ancient Rome, something about Rome appeals to me.


  8. Ha! I didn’t even know you’d just read this — but it’s one I picked up from my local library on Friday! I’m currently reading it, and loving it! LOL

    More evidence that you and I have similar tastes in books (or, so it’s seeming to me, more and more! LOL) 😉



    • I think you’re right 🙂 I think it’s part of a series but I’ve only read Mistress of Rome. Glad you’re enjoying it!


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