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Mistress of Rome [Paperback]

Kate Quinn
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

10 Jun 2010

Passion. Treachery. Murder... A heart-stopping epic about a Jewish slave girl and Rome's greatest gladiator, who become involved in a plot to assassinate an emperor

Orphaned by Rome's savage legions, Thea, a slave girl from Judaea, has learned what it takes to survive. She knows only violence until a chance meeting with gladiator Arius offers a shred of tenderness. But their bond is severed when Thea is sold again, condemned to rot in squalor. Years later, a singer known as Athena betrays no hint of her troubled past. Catching the eye of the Emperor himself, she is swept into a world of decadence and depravity. But although Domitian fears betrayal from every side, he is unaware that the greatest threat lies next to him - a slave girl who has come to be called the Mistress of Rome...


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Mistress of Rome + Daughters of Rome (Rome 2) + Empress of Rome (Rome 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (10 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755357930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755357932
  • Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she first got hooked on ancient Rome while watching "I, Claudius" at the age of seven. She wrote her first book during her freshman year in college, retreating from a Boston winter into ancient Rome, and it was later published as "Mistress of Rome." A prequel followed, titled "Daughters of Rome," and then a sequel written while her husband was deployed to the Middle East.

"I realized that my Roman legionary hero in `Empress of the Seven Hills' was fighting in the same part of the world where my US Navy husband was deployed. Life imitating art, or art imitating life? I have no idea!"

Kate is currently working on her fourth novel, set in the Italian Renaissance. She also has succumbed to the blogging bug, and keeps a blog filled with trivia, pet peeves, and interesting facts about historical fiction. She and her husband now live in Maryland with a small black dog named Caesar, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.

You can find out more about Kate and her writing by visiting www.katequinnauthor.com.


Product Description

Review

`What a great book!...one of the best things I've read in months and months. Full of great characters... So gripping your hands are glued to the book, and so vivid it burns itself into your mind's eye and stays with you long after you turn the final page' --Diana Gabaldon

`Kate Quinn is a mistress of storytelling. She gives us a wonderful and intensely emotional spectacle, full of sound and fury. A deeply passionate love story, tender and touching, in the heat and danger of the brutal arena that was Ancient Rome. An exhilarating read. Quinn is a remarkable new talent' --Kate Furnivall

`A great, sprawling epic, very much rooted in the human dramas. The politics and cultural stuff is commuted beautifully through the adventures of these people we come to care about deeply' --Paul Magrs

`A heady and exciting rollercoaster of a tale set in the reign of Emperor Domitian. Based on actual events, the brutality and decadence of the times is brought powerfully to life in a gripping and entertaining way'
--Bookseller

In this epic debut, Kate Quinn gives us a gripping version of 1st-century Rome...what seems at first to have all the earmarks of a straightforward romance expands to encompass greater themes, offering the intrigue of a political thriller and the depth of great literary fiction... Overall, Mistress of Rome is impeccably researched and beautifully executed. Such an accomplished debut can only augur many more impressive historical novels to come!
--Historical Novels Review, Issue 52, May 2010

`Fans of Philippa Gregory's books who have had enough of Elizabethan times will be entranced by this Rome-set debut....Awash with historical detail, this is a violent, passionate, compelling read.' --Elle Magazine

'a rollicking account...Thea's story rattles along with such infectious relish that the most pedantic classicist would be beguiled by it in the end.' --Daily Mail, July 2, 2010

`A riveting tale...glamorous and brutal, a heady mix of intrigue and combat, with added decadence and depravity...An exhilarating read.' MARIE CLAIRE --Marie Claire, July issue

`A wildly entertaining read, this vivid tale of scandal and romance will have you holding your breath with excitement.' --Now Magazine

Book Description

'SPARTACUS for girls' - this powerful Roman epic aimed squarely at the female market is perfect for all those who loved the HBO mini-series ROME, which attracted 6.6 million viewers on its BBC premiere


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth your time 18 Nov 2010
By Andy Edwards TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Historical fiction is a crowded genre, particularly if Ancient Rome is it's location. It's all been done before, and in some instances, very well, so for an author there will be nothing new to present. Which makes it doubly important that you have a good story to tell, and you tell it well. Kate Quinn has taken that on board and she tells a tale intertwining an Imperial family and it's sycophants, and 2 slaves, which neatly combines the major aspects of Roman society.

The story unfolds though the eyes of the major characters, which allows the opportunity for some real depth, and it is to Quinn's credit that she handles fight scenes and Imperial banquets with equal aplomb, while also leaving much to the imagination of the reader. The Romans present plenty of opportunity for graphic detail with their brutal way of life, love and death, and rather than fall into the trap of detailing everything, Quinn prefers to hint and infer, other than some for the fight scenes.

As to the story itself, the detail of Roman life never overwhelms the pace, which is satisfyingly brisk and even some of the more unlikely elements seem believable, such is the skill of the author. There's everything here, from romance to depravity, from politic intrigue to the Arena and that makes this a book with very wide appeal. I liked it.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag 12 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback
Orphaned by Rome's savage legions, Thea, a slave girl from Judaea, has learned what it takes to survive. She knows only violence until a chance meeting with gladiator Arius offers a shred of tenderness. But their bond is severed when Thea is sold again, condemned to rot in squalor.

Years later, a singer known as Athena betrays no hint of her troubled past. Catching the eye of the Emperor himself, she is swept into a world of decadence and depravity. But althought Domitian fears betrayal from every side, he is unaware that the greatest threat lies next to him - a slave girl who has come to be called the Mistress of Rome...

It's hard to know how to review Mistress of Rome. On the one hand, I swept through it in one day, finding the prose to be simple yet effective and the historical details vivid. On the other hand, I felt that it came across much as a soap opera programme or chick lit novel would - light, easy-to-read, with larger than life characters and ultimately forgettable. Although I enjoyed the novel, I don't honestly see it staying with me for very long.

One factor that struck me while reading Mistress of Rome is how fantastical it seemed - when I thought on this, I believe it might be because of how long ago the time period being represented was. We know sweeping details of the Roman Empire - who ruled when, military campaigns, political machinations - but the real nitty gritty details and the secondary historical figures (those that didn't impact on history) have been lost, and hence the novelist needs to flesh out the missing elements.

The fantastical side to Mistress of Rome was not helped by Quinn including a character who could supposedly see the future.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 22 Jun 2010
By H VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Normally my reviews are quite long but there's just not much I can say to critique this book. It brings Ancient Rome to life in vivid detail, not shying away from the gore but not using it gratuitously either. The characters are engaging and well rounded, their motives complex and intriguing, and Quinn's writing style is fluid and confident. There are some historical inaccuracies but they're in service to the story and thus very forgivable; they're not lazy or careless.

Read it, is all I can say!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible storyteller... wonderful story! 7 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Kate Quinn's characters are imaginative, but historically based and incredibly vibrant. She creates an evocative atmosphere that draws to in to every room, tavern, tablinum, ludus and the colosseum itself.

Brilliant novel. Fabulous author!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book and series 7 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Kate Quinn is amazing as a historical novelist on this period. I'm a historain by degree ( a long time ago) but this is so readable and her characters draw you in. You can't put it down though so be warned!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars rubbish 29 Jan 2014
By cecilia
Format:Paperback
I feel out of step with other reviewerswho have enjoyed this book, but I thought it was a total wastel of time. It may be a good yarn but the characters are unbelievable and the situations they encounter have no relation to life as it was in the roman Empire at that time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars could not put book down 11 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was absorbing. I did feel the first couple of chapters I might not continue reading mainly because of the Roman names which if I left for more than a day I had to go to the back of the book to see who the characters were. Having persevered however the book became one I couldn't put down, so much so that I am now reading the third book of Kate Quinn. If you enjoy history these are the books for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a great story-teller Quinn is: strong characters leap off the page in an epic laced with violence, love, lust, revenge and betrayal. The spine of the storyline focuses around Thea, slave girl to the narcissitic and deliciously vile Lapida - and soon we are drawn into the many other vivid characters including the killing-machina that is the Brit Gladiator, Arius; the emperor-warrior, Domitian, with a propensity for violent creepy sex and the thoughtful Marcus, father to soldier and emperor's right-hand man, Paulinus.

Quinn's impeccable research helps draw the reader in - and the world she builds is utterly vivid, whether describing the bloody gladatorial fights, a feast-turned-orgy or the struggles Thea faces as a slave. Quinn neatly changes the viewpoints between her characters (and between the first and third person) but she never once loses pace (although on a Kindle, there did seem to be some random typographical inserts which are annoying). The lesser characters are also memorable and given her cast is so wide, it's to Quinn's credit we don't lose sight of who's who. It would have been five stars, but for the rather twee start which so nearly put this reader off. So very pleased it didn't.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Mistress of Rome
Quite undecided about this book. It seemed to take a long time to get going with lengthy periods of "story padding" Strong main characters though and quite compelling towards the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by s.cole
4.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Historical Read
An entertaining story with interesting historical facts. Rome comes across as a dangerous city. Fascinating portrayal of gladiators and those who competed in the "games". Read more
Published 7 months ago by Julien Cozens
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best
i really wanted to enjoy it a lot more than i actually did, it has an interesting premise in an emperors reign which i had not read much of before, unfortunately, i was rather put... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Octavius 1
5.0 out of 5 stars Where has this been all my life???!!!!
One of my absolute all-time favourite books ever!! Read it four times now and I still can't get enough of it. The book is simply brilliant. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Little Miss Bookworm
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
It is a good plot and the story kept me going, but somehow it felt just average chick lit while reading it. I won't be reading the next installment i'm afraid.
Published 10 months ago by VanityUk
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
A really good read,easy to follow and become involved with.
The violence in the arena must have been horrific and all in the name of entertainment
Published 12 months ago by Mrs. Nicola Hedges
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite in the series
I could litterally not put this book down. I sadly have hot chocolate stains on one of my page from not being able to let it go. It was so thrilling and exciting. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mikayla
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have read for a long time
This book was extremity well written and clear despite its somewhat complex story line. A real insight into the horrors of Ancient Rome mixing some historical facts with fiction. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Allana-Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!
this was the first book i had read from kate Quinn and i am so glad i did as she is a fab writer! this book centres on a Hewbrew slave who catches the eye of a nasty, brutal... Read more
Published 13 months ago by clotty
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