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AD 69 Nero is deadThe Roman Empire is up for the taking With bloodshed spilling out of the palace and into the streets of Rome chaos has become the status uo The Year of Four Emperors will change everything—especially the lives of two sisters with a very personal stake in the outcomeElegant and ambitious Cornelia embodies the essence of the perfect Roman wife She lives to one day see her loyal husband as Emperor Her sister Marcella is withdrawn content to witness history rather than make it Even so Marcella has her share of distinguished suitors from a cutthroat contender for the throne to a politician’s son who swears that someday he will be EmperorBut when a bloody coup turns their world upside down Cornelia and Marcella—along with their cousins one a collector of husbands and lovers the other a horse mad beauty with no interest in romance—must maneuver carefully just to stay alive As Cornelia tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams Marcella discovers a hidden talent for influencing the most powerful men in Rome In the end though there can only be one Emperor and one Empress


10 thoughts on “Daughters of Rome

  1. says:

    As I expected this was a great read I simply couldn't put it down it got me hooked at the opening line and I really enjoyed every minute of reading this amazing book I liked everything about Daughters of Rome just as I liked everything about Mistress of Rome Daughters of Rome is a wonderful mix of well developed characters very interesting plot historical events in ''The Year of Four Emperors'' political intrigue romance fights great descriptions of life in ancient Rome and really really good writing It goes on my favorite shelf right next to Mistress of RomeI must confess that I liked Mistress a little than Daughters but just a little While following the story of four Cornelias which was exciting it was nice to renew my knowledge of Roman history and to learn and take mental notes about details such as clothes interior of the houses very interesting food selection and eating habits and many other small sections of life in ancient Rome All the emperors I learned about in History class back in school are not just names any and Daughters of Rome made them real alive to me Noone in this book is flawless and that makes it easier to be aware that most of the characters really existed so many years ago and that events that took place really happened This is a story about real people who are neither just good or just bad but only human I really liked that To those who were not fortunate in real life like centurion Densus and Llyn Kate uinn gave another chance for life and she did a great job doing it I wish their reality was like the one she gave them in this book instead of what really happened to them Kate uinn is a wonderful author and after two of her books I know I can't go wrong with her I can't wait to put my hands on her next book Empress of the Seven Hills 5 stars


  2. says:

    I must admit I'm a sucker for almost anything set in ancient Rome The tumult the marble the breastplates the decadence it all fascinates me And when I started reading Kate uinn's DAUGHTERS OF ROME I expected to be drawn right in; after all it doesn't take much for me What I did not expect to be as enthralled as I am; not only does Ms uinn's second novel her first is the bestselling MISTRESS OF ROME brim with witty dialogue and marvelous descriptions but her four women protagonists cousins all and each immersed in the deadly struggles of the epoch known as the Year of the Four Emperors are vivid true to their time yet very much identifiable to us It's sexy transporting addictive fiction Highly recommended


  3. says:

    This wasn't my cup of tea For being historical fiction it was very light This isn't particularly a bad thing for me but it felt so cheesy and cheap It felt like 'National Enuirer' for this time period That didn't work for me The words slut and whore were completely overused It was like an episode of the Jerry Springer show These 'historical' women felt way to contemporary with their attitudes and speech for this time period They could have been teleported from the world todayThis was a miss for me So 2 stars


  4. says:

    How does one remain strong when the world and the life that you have built falls apart around you? Daughters of Rome answered this uestion in the simplest way possible; one just keeps on living In the Year of the Four Emperors in Ancient Rome it would appear that the turmoil was a constant factor of life but the four main characters in this book; Cornelia Marcella Lollia and Diana not only overcome adversity but prove themselves in their own uniue way that they are strong women who will not be silenced or held back As the reader you are placed in the head of these four women as Kate uinn switches protagonists expertly making this turbulent period come alive Rich in detail not just about the politics of the day but also about the food architecture sports entertainment and daily etiuette this book grabbed my attention from the beginning and held it to the very end What I found most interesting was the character development of each of the four women I found my self empathizing with all of them and at times switching which among the four women I liked the best I think out of all of them I was most affected by Cornelia and Lollia Their stories resonated with me as being the most real for the time period especially the idea of romantic relationships and what was expected of a woman in ancient Rome After finishing this book I even went and read up on the four emperors as well as some of the other characters that were in this book and then I ordered the next two books in the series from I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in ancient history intrigue love or relationships


  5. says:

    Won as a Goodreads First Read First off I was a history major so I love fiction based in ancient history This novel does a great job of immersing the reader in the nuances of daily Roman life without coming across as grandstanding I hate when authors throw nifty facts at me for the sake of showing off their research skills The casual references to menu dress and customs are seamlessly incorporated into the flow of the narrative and don't feel forced at alluinn maintains an energetic pace with a detailed plot full of suspense; I constantly wanted to flip the page to find out what happened next Basically four female relatives called the Cornelias try to survive one of the most turbulent years in Roman history Year of 4 Emperors To do so each one follows a different path While the four heroines share a name and a largely patrician family history they are not carbon copies of each other and are fleshed out with vibrant personalities and singular coping mechanisms All four of them undergo changes to their outlooks on life love and duty It was a fascinating journey to watch how Rome's upheaval affected each of their destinies desires and personalitiesThe only cons to the book are a reflection of my personal tastes ie my laziness as a reader than of the writer's skill I like the point of view to be utterly clear This book's narrative flows around the four Cornelias sometimes switching POV from one paragraph to the next I'm getting old because I find it exhausting to have to stop and think about which voice I'm reading now A related issue is the writer's tendency to jump time frames I'd have to stop go back and re read a passage to figure out that the 2 or 3 conversations portrayed actually took place at different times Again that's my personal preference; I'm too lazy to enjoy intellectually challenging narrative stylesOverall I'd recommend if you like historical fiction that offers a slice of life perspective of an era have a fondness for Roman times or like to read about strong women battling for their place in the world with whatever tools society allows them And if you like gorgeous golden Gaul body slaves well that's an added bonus


  6. says:

    I read Kate uinn's debut Mistress of Rome last year and found it an extremely enjoyable read so I'd been looking forward to her follow up ever since and snapped it up as soon as it was released Daughters of Rome is based on real events in this case the Year of Four Emperors but unlike Mistress which had one central character it takes a sweeping politically orientated view of the time it depicts with the focus on four cousins who become entangled in these events These women are Cornelia a devoted wife with ambitions to become the next Empress; Marcella a scheming writer who records the lives of the emperors and becomes increasingly preoccupied with making history; Lollia a rich party loving heiress who nevertheless has the biggest heart of all the cousins; and Diana who is young and beautiful but cares for nothing but horses racing and her dream of becoming a charioteerThe book was as exciting involving and action packed as I expected It races along at a cracking pace taking in everything from secret affairs decadent banuets and true love to war suicide and political intrigue As I know little about the era I can't comment on how accurate uinn's portrayal of Rome in AD 69 actually is but it certainly feels very well researched and is full of entertaining details; many of the characters are embellished versions of real life historical figures which certainly adds interest There's plenty of sex and violence but the characters are well developed too and you really come to care about what happens to them Only Diana seems a bit two dimensional is anyone actually this obsessed with horses? but she gets a great ending and Lollia in particular progresses wonderfully from a seemingly unpleasant spoilt girl to a warm delightful characterIf you liked the author's debut you will LOVE this book Some of the characters overlap and there are bits of foreshadowing which will be enjoyable for anyone who's read Mistress it made me want to go back and read it again immediately I did miss having a variety of narrative voices I'm kind of surprised at the absence of this as the author pulled it off so well in her first book but perhaps it would have been confusing in a story with four main characters I also didn't think Marcella really deserved her fate and felt uite sorry for her in the end however meddlesome she may have been However overall I think Daughters has the edge over its predecessor; it feels accomplished and less like something destined mainly for the chick lit end of the marketIn a word this book is JUICY This is historical fiction but never dry or boring; it's also romantic and full of action but never comes off like poorly written genre rubbish uinn's books are huge fun to read and I am already looking forward to the next As an added bonus at the time of writing I am about to set off for a holiday in Rome and enjoying this story has really whetted my appetite for exploring the city and its history


  7. says:

    I read this after reading Lindsey Davis's wonderful book The Course of Honor which covers similar territory Compared to that book this one was just okay The author is a good story teller after the first few chapters which seemed dull and left me wondering what the book was going to be about But the real problem for me was how anachronistic so much of it feltThe characters' language is full of very recent slang slang that if you read it in a contemporary novel would define a character as having grown up in the late 1990s and suggest that they watched certain popular TV shows It pulled me right out of the story when it came out of the mouths of ancient roman matrons The interpersonal dynamics of the characters were even difficult to believe The only love relationships in the story develop entirely on the basis of animalistic sex There is almost no conversation and precious little interaction of any other type between the upperclass women and the men of much lower status they lust for The plotline built around the chariot racing cousin is totally unbelievable and since it plays such a major role in the story I had a lot of trouble suspending my disbelief I'm glad to see a book about Ancient Rome doing so well in the marketplace But reading it I felt like I was watching Real Housewives of Ancient Rome than time traveling into the Rome I've come to know by reading Lindsey Davis Gillian Bradshaw and Colleen McCullough novel goddesses all of them If you haven't read their Roman books yet you are in for a treatUPDATE I read the other two books in this series which were both brilliant Don't let the uality of this book keep you from reading the rest


  8. says:

    This was a surprisingly good read for meI am not a big fan of historical fiction set in ancient civilizations as I often get confused by all of the well history Author Kate uinn did a wonderful job of telling her story about the Year of Four Emperors which I knew nothing about without getting too bogged down in the politicsThe story is told through the voices of the Cornelias two sisters and two cousins and the effects of the turmoil on all of them Cornelia the eldest is married to Piso who is about to be named heir to the ruling Emperor When a coup takes place Piso is removed from his place of honor and Cornelia along with her sister Marcella and cousins Lollia and Diana barely escape from the riots with their lives In order to curry favor with the new Emperor Otho Lollia is married off to his brother which brings Marcella in a position to influence the fate of her husband Marcella is a witness to the history of Rome and records it religiously until she finds that she can also influence history not just record it When yet another Emperor Vitellius is crowned after defeating Otho's legions on the battlefield Diana find herself a favorite of the horse mad Emperor and Lollia finds herself married to another Emperor's advisor As the events of the year unfold each of the four women takes a stand on their own personal loyalities Some of the women grow in strength some relationships deepen while others become strained I throughly enjoyed the lives of each of the four main characters and marvelled at the excesses of the times For fans of ancient Rome this is a wonderful read For those who are not it is still an excellent read for a beginnerlike me


  9. says:

    I have had Kate uinn’s debut novel Mistress of Rome on my to read shelf since January 2010 And I totally forgot about it—this is why I love my to read shelf I don’t remember how I learned about it so it’s serendipitous that I found Daughters of Rome which has whet my appetite even for Mistress I saw this book on the “New Books” shelf at my library and decided to “give it a chance” That’s a code phrase for “I’m not really sure I’ll enjoy this but it is within my sphere of interest”—in this case fiction set in ancient Rome Rome like Tudor England is a setting for which I have some affinity—in particular I like the Roman Empire in its early years So Daughters of Rome went home with me The title and some of its packaging make it seem like it’s aiming at the romance audience or at least at whoever decided “chick lit” is a viable genre label Don’t be fooled Daughters of Rome is 100% grade A straight up historical fiction and it is awesomeI have a friend who is a classicsarchaeology expert my go to Rome expert and who has also read this book And I said to her “I can see why you liked this book The women are lascivious but in a self possessed way not merely in a way that involves words like turgid” Yeah there are romantic aspects to this book some of which are my least favourite things about it but the four female main characters pursue these relationships for their own reasons not merely because they are there for a male lead or leads to conuer Roman patrician upper class women were subject to the will of the paterfamilias or male family head of the household—but as uinn demonstrates they often found interesting ways to subvert or rebel against such ruleDaughters of Rome is set during the tumultous Year of the Four Emperors and uinn sensibly divides the book into sections covering each emperor’s reign Following Nero’s death in AD 68 the Senate put Galba on the throne But after Galba chooses Cornelia’s husband as his heir Senator Otho successfully carries off a coup killing Galba and Cornelia’s husband and seizing the throne for himself Cornelia is grief stricken and even at one point suicidal Her cousin Lollia who has had a revolving door of marriages made by her grandfather for their advantage finds herself divorced—again—and married to Otho’s odious right hand man Marcella Cornelia’s sister undergoes a metamorphosis from writer of histories to chronicler of history to a shadowy manipulator of history Finally my favourite Diana another cousin who eschews political machinations for an obsession with the chariot races their horses and a radical lack of giving a shit She is a honey badger and it is awesomeuinn sets herself an ambitious task Not only does she have four main characters but she tells their story in less than 400 pages Some authors write thousand page epics following two or three characters and they still don’t pull it off Somehow uinn manages to create four different women who all have their own obsessions foibles and goals Together they give us an excellent picture of the diversity among a single patrician family in the Roman Empire all set against the backdrop of the tremendous political change happening in RomeAnd if political intrigue is your thing then Daughters of Rome delivers on that too In general all four sisters are very aware of the tension in Rome following Galba’s assassination Associated as they were with his heir they worry about their status under Otho—hence Lollia’s hasty remarriage This pattern repeats itself when Vitellius takes the throne and so on with Vespasian As the tides turn all of Rome scrambles to find favour and this family is no exceptionMarcella’s plot follows her awakening if you will as she realizes the inadvertent role she might have played in the deaths of two emperors This motivates her to plot the downfall of a third and fourth She becomes very withdrawn and almost secretive and watching her hubris and subseuent fall is simultaneously one of the most satisfying and most tragic parts of this book I loved that Diana whom Marcella dismisses as “stupid but observant” is the one who connects all the dots for her cousins when it comes to Marcella’s actions I loved the conversation Marcella has with Marcus Norbanus who earlier in the book implied some interest in her and her scholarly endeavours He essentially rejects any notion of further association with her saying outright “I find I don’t like you any” That change perfectly captures Marcella’s turn toward the dark sideCornelia dabbles in political plotting as well determined to obtain revenge for Otho’s role in her husband’s death However she eventually becomes focused on a new lover I kind of wish uinn didn’t go for the “patrician girl falls for the centurion” story because it seems trite and clichéd Indeed there isn’t much I can say in favour of this particular plot I recognize that uinn is placing Cornelia in a situation that her former self would have condemned for its lack of propriety But this consumes her character so completely that it’s difficult not to describe it as anything other than the “romance” label I so emphatically discarded earlier in this review Daughters of Rome is a complex book and I think it will appeal to different people for many different reasonsI haven’t said much about Lollia She’s a source of those “romance novel” vibes as well because uinn describes her sexual affairs and proclivities in great detail However it’s not all fun and games There is a heartfelt moment where we learn that Lollia trusts her grandfather a former slave who has risen to a position of wealth above all else and she tolerates the way he manages her marriages because she knows he has always acted like it’s “them against the world” Lollia and Marcella’s domestic situations illustrate the brutality that could easily spoil the seemingly placid lifestyle of the patrician woman Lollia treats her marriage to Fabius Valens like all her others some kind of game and happily continues having sex with her man slave—until Fabius has him whipped and then backhands Lollia’s three year old daughter uinn has this ability to turn the tone of a scene on a dime and she uses it to great effect Daughters of Rome has lots of romance like aspects to it but there are deeper moments that explore the social situation and the role of women in the Roman Empire and it’s awesomeFor the most part uinn seems to adhere to the history as we know it fairly well I am not familiar enough with the history of this period to spot any but the most egregious errors but Wikipedia does help And uinn is rather open in her historical note about what she changed—for instance Lollia and Diana are both fictitious characters With Diana this seems rather obvious because I uestion whether such a rebellious girl would be allowed in a patrician household—and even if she had existed I doubt she would have driven in a chariot race and been so celebrated Diana is the character who almost transforms Daughters of Rome into one of those larger than life “we made a movie set in ancient Rome” movies the kind where men are real men and women wear diaphonous garments and all the dialogue makes you want to cringe because it seems so desperate to communicate that it is “ancient times” She is over the top And I can’t help but love herDiana does not let anyone push her around She mouths off to emperors and ignores imprecations and opprobria She does not care about finding a husband At one point her cousins uestion her about her relationship with a British horse breeder he has secretly been teaching her to drive chariots They ask “Do you love him?” and Diana replies something along the lines of “At one point I thought I might but now I don’t think so” And that’s just such a refreshing believable sentiment she doesn’t meet this mysterious foreigner who shares her affinity for horses and fall into his arms They become friends but it’s not the type of magnetic romance that ruined my enjoyment of Cordelia Diana is just a marvelous fun character even if she might be somewhat unrealisticThat’s OK uinn has earned her creative license with everything else that Daughters of Rome delivers This is the type of historical fiction I like and this is the uality of fiction I demand


  10. says:

    Another great and well researched read by Kate uinn I did find this one a little hard to get into at first but what things got rolling it picks up It is set again in Rome about 20 or so years ahead of Mistress of Rome and involving many of the character we meet there and setting up different events and experiences It's placed in a tumultuous period of Roman history where in a 12 month period 4 emperors came into power with 3 loosing their life in the struggleAgain we're greeted with a spattering of well placed carefully groomed characters that are both actual factual historical figures and fictional creations but the perfectly fleshed out imitations are hard to flush out We follow 4 cousins from the clan Corneliaii all named Cornealia but with nicknames for clarity out of them one pair are full sisters While the sisters are the prominent characters we hear from everyone with regularity that combined with their differences of personality and interests gives us a much broader view of The Year of Four Emperors The settings are eually as lush and well described as the characters are well rounded you can tell the amazing research that was put into the writing of both Kate uinn's novels The only issues I had at certain points is the way the grils who start out so close act towards each other There are different things that happen throughout the novel love war death marriage divorce and wild life styles But at somethings I just did not understand how they reacted There were times that in my mind what two girls had done was practically the same in 'not greatness' and yet the latter of the girls they stopped talking to wanted nothing to do with her I would recommend Kate's novels to anyone and everyone who loves historical fiction or Ancient Rome they're great and sometimes the characters are so real they can annoy you like real peopleDefinitly a good read This is a preuel to Mistress of Rome which did come out first but you can read either book as a stand alone with out the other though it does round out a clearer vision of Roman life through a generation or two