10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
a Roman feast,
This review is from: Empress of Rome (Rome 3) (Kindle Edition)
This sequel to "Daughters of Rome" and "Mistress of Rome" covers about 15 pivotal years in the lives of 4 very different characters. They may span all walks of Roman life, from soldier to scholar and ex-slave to empress - but these four are linked by one common trait: they are determined to achieve a life that they are told they cannot have. Vix is the brash young boy of "Mistress of Rome," now grown to an even brasher young man climbing the ranks of the Roman legions, and not at all fazed by the fact that ex-slaves like him are not allowed to become generals. Sabina is a cool-headed patrician girl who would rather travel the world than settle down to be a wife and mother, and she works every angle she can to get the freedom she wants. Shy scholarly Titus just wants to be left to his books, and aloof Hadrian is determined to become Emperor Trajan's heir, but fate has different plans for both of them. These four characters and more will criss-cross through Rome from the city streets to the outer edges of the empire; battles, earthquakes, campaigns, rebellions, political backstabbing and personal betrayals all form a sweeping backdrop to a deeply personal story. Vix is a lout, but a lovable lout capable of both passion and heroism, and Sabina by contrast is an aloof and unconventional heroine; their romance is anything but conventional as they join, part, join again, part again in an eternal clash of passion versus duty. Hadrian is enigmatic - good guy or bad guy? It takes a while to find out - and the odious Empress of Rome nearly steals the show as a Machiavellian schemer who thinks she's a goddess. The novel ends on a dark cliffhanger: Quinn has clearly set up the sequel for some of the smaller characters in "Empress of the Seven Hills" to be come very important characters indeed in the history of Rome during the reigns of the next two emperors.