Jealousy. Lust. Betrayal. Passion. I mean, what more could you want from a book?! Certainly for me, ‘Mistress of Rome’ has it all…and then some!
This book, which is the first part of a trilogy that I am rapidly progressing through, centres on the life of Thea; a Jewish slave girl who serves as hand-maiden to the ghastly, bratty Lepida Pollia. Thea’s life is turned completely upside down when she meets Arius; a Briton fighting for his life as a gladiator and known to all of Rome as the ‘Barbarian’.
From the pensive Marcus Norbanus to the level-headed Vestal Virgin Justina, and not forgetting the brutal Emperor Domitian; the characters in ‘Mistress of Rome’ become inextricably linked together across the years, culminating in a finger-biting conclusion!
The book balances the perfect amount of sexiness (after all, what is a book without a bit of smuttiness?) with a couple of simmering love stories that would keep any closet romantic satisfied.
This book is full to the brim of back-door treachery, deceit and betrayal. Kate Quinn certainly has epic timing as a story-teller and uses her creative licence as an author to expand on existing persons of interest, which really brings the story to life. I refuse to go into more detail about the plot…but it’s a real page-turner. The amount of times I gasped on my morning commute in front of complete strangers is ridiculous – and rather embarrassing.
I urge you to beg, borrow or steal this book. You won’t be disappointed. If anything, it will make you want to swathe yourself in silks of jade and crimson; adorn your neck and fingers in sapphire and have your man/woman dress up in gladiator attire…Enjoy!