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The first in an unforgettable historical saga from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Alice Network First century Rome A ruthless emperor watches over all and fixes his gaze on one young woman Thea is a slave girl from Judaea purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia Now she has infuriated her mistress by capturing the attention of Rome's newest and most savage gladiator and though his love brings Thea the first happiness of her life their affair ends uickly when a jealous Lepida tears them apartRemaking herself as a singer for Rome's aristocrats Thea unwittingly attracts another admirer the charismatic Emperor of Rome But the passions of an all powerful man come with a heavy price and Thea finds herself fighting for both her soul and her 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 Domitian lies in the hands of one woman the Emperor's mistress

10 thoughts on “Mistress of Rome

  1. says:

    I was very pleasantly surprised by this book I took it because I didn’t know what to read next I thought it will be some shallow romance story but I was wrong This book is great It has everything interesting plot constantly something happens this book is full of events the plot doesn’t drag on great characters I loved narration from different points of view here you get to know a whole palette of amazing characters and uality – it’s very important that the book is well written and here the author obviously knew what she was doing Ms uinn studied her material well before writingThe result is a great book with depth that will entertain you and make you both sad and happyIt’s a book about human destiny fight for survival set in the time of Roman Empire

  2. says:

    Ok people key word in the synposis is depravity I wish I had paid closer attention I spent this entire novel trying to find a character I could at least like if not relate to in some way It didn't happenThea is a Jewish slave that works for Lepida a Roman lady Both Thea and Lepida develope lustful feelings towards the newest fiercest most famous gladiator Arius The first uarter of the novel really drew me in as Arius spurns Lepida she has the eyes of a ferret apparently and begins a rather hot and steamy affair with Thea I was really uite hooked until part two At this point the evil vile and incredibly disgusting Lepida Can you tell how much I hated her? has separated Thea and Arius and married a senator From this point on it just becomes a giant Roman orgy Lepida is fornicating with so and so a family relation and that is all I'm going to reveal who was just fornicating with Thea who at this point is fornicating with almost as many men as Lepida and that is a lot Then Thea begins fornicating with the Emperor and Lepida wants to fornicate with him too But alas poor Lepida must settle for simply fornicating in the same room as the Emperor and Thea Both Thea and Lepida are also horrid mothers Thea abandons her boy most of the time while Lepida tells her sick daughter to go have seizures in another room Thea has a strange addiction to cutting herself Lepida is addicted to sex Arius just loves to kill people and the Emperor is just plain demented and perverted The only likeable people in the entire novel were Marcus and his daughter Sabina but their roles weren't large enough to overcome my distaste at the bitter rivalry and power hungry bed hopping of Thea and LepidaWell written but not about characters I want to read about Too much depravity for me

  3. says:

    The first time I realized I loved reading was when I was eight and had finished reading The Vicar of Wakefield I still remember the feeling I had when I clutched the book in my hand and declared I loved reading It was not because the particular book in uestion was extraordinary regardless of its status as a classic but it was the first time a book has completely captured my attention that everything else seemed pale in comparison I have read a number of books after this one and loved a few of them immensely but it was not until I read Mistress of Rome that the same feeling captured me again I was looking for a book in the historical literature recommendation section for my mother and by chance I caught her exclaiming that this one looks like a promising read I didn't give much heed to this book at the time but checked out the book for my mother's sake Before I knew it I was reading this book and was so entranced by the story that I forgot the fact that I was not planning on reading it in the first place But these spontaneous spur of the moment decision yields the most surprising results as I am convinced that this book is a rare gem I would have missed otherwise The story transports us to an era and place which is well known yet shrouded in mystery It takes us to ancient Rome and tells us the story of a Jewish slave girl called Thea Her abuses at the hands of her ever spiteful and jealous mistress Lepida Pollia Her true love for the gladiator Arius the Barbarian The way she deals with the every twist and turns the fates throw at her ultimately leading to her rise as she become the mistress of Roman Emperor Domnitian and there by the mistress of Rome It was truly a remarkable read It goes without saying that I liked Thea's character but I loved Arius the Barbarian as well The way he fought to keep his demons passive His fighting in the Arena his love for Thea and above all his strength to stand against an empire bend on seeing his death The love story between this two survivors is heart wrenching and it draws you in with its simplistic charm The life of the Roman people portrayed in this book are not far fetched or unbelieving Every twist had a possible feel to it The best part of the book though were those parts narrated from the point of view of Lepida Now there is a character that will stay in your memory for a very long time Evil in form of a person or conveniently Evil personified as a female owing to Emperor Domitian who is a strong contender for that former title But while the emperor's evilness can be accounted for in his insanity Lepida's was from deep with in her soul I loved reading about her little schemes and the way she manipulated the people around her for her means Her spoiled and self absorbed narration made me wish for her downfall so badly that it became a big reason for my preoccupation with this book Towards the end I was so tensed that I even thought of skipping a couple of pages ahead to learn the outcome before hand but was able to restrain my self as the story moved on in a fast pace A huge applause has to be given to the author for coming up with a breath taking climax which left me without any nails to sacrifice But fair warning has to be given the faint hearted as this book is not for them There are parts of the book that can make even the strong ones feel sueamish The historical notes at the end were highly informative and left me in a state of awe for all those authors who piece such tidbits together to create entirely interesting stories of their own Saying that I am not entirely sure that the book should be curbed to the title of historical literature Though there were a lot of historical elements in the book but it never goes in much details in this regard The historical wars and conuests are explained and lengthy descriptions are given for the Colosseum battles of the gladiators But a wealth of information is not obtained from this book about that particular time period to ualify it as a historical fiction Nevertheless this book is worth a read and definitely a keeper

  4. says:

    In between ARCs and my TBR shelf I am revisiting some of my favorite books; specifically books that I read prior to my years on Goodreads Mistress of Rome was my first Kate uinn read and even eight years later still burns with 5 golden stars Set in Ancient Rome and spanning the years 81 AD 96 AD Mistress of Rome takes readers back into a city under the rule of Emperor Domitian From political intrigues to the gladiators ring this is a masterfully crafted story that I have returned to again and again As I have mentioned this is a re read but yet I still found myself swept away and on the edge of my seat taking in all the action If you have ever thought of visiting Ancient Rome I cannot think of a better book that will keep your hands glued to its pages

  5. says:

    While I liked this book a lot I'm surprised so many reviewers have described it as literary For me it was a trashy potboiler a definite guilty pleasure albeit a very well researched one with lots of enjoyable historical detail and exciting action The vivid depiction of everyday goings on in ancient Rome brings the period and settings to life in a way the modern reader can easily relate to; I can see this book being turned into a film or TV miniseries in fact I wouldn't be at all surprised if one is already in production The characters were great with the scheming bitchy Lepida being a highlight I loved how the sections written from her point of view read like entries from a bratty teenager's diary and despite how awful she's meant to be by the end I kind of loved her and I would also have loved to see of the relationship between her and Domitian they would've made a brilliant evil couple In comparison to Philippa Gregory's The White ueen another example of historical fiction based partly on real events and figures which I read last month this was so much better Soapy but absolutely fantastic fun to read

  6. says:

    What the fuck did I just read? Never have I ever been this allured by a book in a severely very long time This book has everything I could want in a novel romance a historical storyline gladiators atrocious villains battle scenes a Roman setting and did I mention GLADIATORS??? This novel follows multiple characters You'll even get chapters from the villains I have this thing where dark themes completely enamor me YeahI'm a sadist But this novel had my heart pumping from beginning to end with its dark themes After each scene ended there would be something else that would put me back on the edge of my seat Some of the best stories have the most sadistic villains And Mistress of Rome is one of them All your top female villains ranging from Dolores Umbridge to a Sarah J Maas villain has NOTHING on this bitch I've had to pause this book many times because I couldn't handle the intensityThea is a Jewish slave girl who is purchased to serve Lapida a manipulative heiress who grows to become a sickeningly horrid woman After Thea falls in love with Arius the Barbarian the best gladiator Rome has ever seen they get torn apart due to Lapida's jealousness Thea despite being a salve goes on to become an established singer Arius is forced to live as a gladiator constantly participating in brutal and vicious fights he doesn't even want to partake in And then there's Lapida who goes on to wreck havoc in literally every way that she canDespite the little success Thea has she unfortunately gets captivated by Emperor Domitian's eyes His character is severely twisted He's the type of leader who everyone thinks highly of but behind closed doors he's an abusive man who once drove his previous mistress to be so mentally and physically abused she committed suicide Being the Emperor's mistress she is now titled the Mistress of Rome Domitian is utterly captivated by Thea What's worse is he loves playing games Which there's nothing wrong withas long as you aren't a crazy twisted psychoMy heart went out for Thea She's a woman who was constantly passed on from man to man only end up with the crazy psychotic dude who rules the entire country And Lapida is ruining the lives of everyone around her include her sweet as fuck husband who wants nothing but the best for his family I kid you notI have never and I mean NEVER hated a fictional character in my ENTIRE lifeIf you enjoy ancient historical fiction with a romantic subplot do keep this novel on your radar It made me shiver and sweat because I was that nervous Trigger Warnings ➛ Rape➛ Descriptive violence➛ Physical and mental abuse

  7. says:

    Re read 2019 for challenge Its very rare that I give a book a 5 star rating but once again this book deserves itThis book from the start drew me into the story the characters and wouldn't let goI would put the book aside to slow down as I didn't want it to come to the endand yet I kept picking it back upand it kept drawing me back into Thea's Arius lives storyThe author writes in the first person for some of the characters which may seem confusing to some at firstBut you get to know each person in their private life with shocking events that happenedand newer ones later in the bookYou also come to know their strengths as well as their weaknesses and why they do what they do to survive A female villain in this book you will just hateyet you need to find out next who she will betrayor ruinits also a deeply passionate love story with lots of intrigue drama Thea Arius and the story have stayed with me long after I closed the bookNow I'm looking forward to reading their continuing story in the next two books

  8. says:

    I bought this on a whim I didn't read the back I didn't read any reviews I certainly didn't read the page of critic's praise just inside the cover Every time I've gone on these indicators lately I've been incredibly disappointed So I bought this one based on GASP the coverI was skeptical as the first several pages are describing a self harming ritual of one of the main characters I was even a little disgusted by such a transparent hook but I found that I couldn't put the book down In fact I felt that way throughout the entire reading Horrified disgusted and utterly unable to stop In fact I read the entire thing in one sittingThough I found some of the shocking plot twists a tad contrived and very very predictable it was sort of comforting to know that the author wasn't trying to make the book than the plot could handle It began moved along and ended exactly the way you would think a book about the Mistresses of a crazed Roman Emperor shouldThe book basically follows the three mistresses of Emperor Domitian a suspicious violent man The first of these women is the Emperor's own niece Julia who's tragic story begins when she's turned down by the Vestals and ends with her violent death The second is Thea a Jewish slave who iseventually trained as a musician She is set up from the beginning as a direct rival to her owner Lepida Pollia a beautiful and spoiled heiress with a very dark side Their rivalry begins when an up and coming gladiator known as Arius the Barbarian chooses Thea over Lepida leading Lepida to sell Thea into prostitution This sets off a series of events which fuel the hatred between the two women as Thea now known as Athena gains fame as a singer and Lepida becomes the wife of a well respected Senator When Thea catches the eye of the Emperor whom Lepida had hoped to call her own it sparks a descent into violence and madness for both womenI can't say even now that I liked it The characters and subject matter were too dark to like but I can say that it is compelling I couldn't put it down and that's all I can really ask for

  9. says:

    It was an entertaining story Maybe 100 pages too long but enjoyableSet in Rome during Emperor Domitius reign the last of the Flavian Dynasty He was an evil maniac that could have a change of heart in a second The story follows a Jewish slave girl Thea and all she had to endure to survive The worst character was Lady Lepida Pollia and her ugly bitter waysI liked the historical fiction that was true but didn't care for the extra made for Hollywood stuff Enjoyable

  10. says:

    35 To my grandparents Glenn Marylou Reed uinnwho are no longer here to read this book but who would undoubtedly have cracked a bottle of champagne bought a dozen copiesMy favourite dedication of the yearI didn't respond uite so strongly to the book I don't need a likeable heroine Forever Amber Gone with the Wind remain as two of my favourite novels I think the problem is that I felt nothing for Thea at all found most of the other female characters interesting Maybe I need a likeable hero I Claudius is another favourite set in roughly the same era I liked Claudius very much whereas Arius Vix remained charisma free killing machinesuinn in her afterward lists some of her inaccuracies I found at least a couple I thought it was a smart move writing in a modern idiom so many writers slide uneasily between the past present in dialogue I always find that jarringuinn can write a fast paced compelling page turner but my rating has to reflect that I liked this book rather than loved itI'm not sure if I will continue with this series but I still want to read uinn's Borgia books