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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read and a good page turner, but lacked the depth to truly engage me..., 10 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Daughters of Rome (Rome 2) (Paperback)
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I thoroughly enjoyed Mistress of Rome, but found this (written after and set before) slightly less satisfying. But Kate Quinn does spin a good tale.

Set in AD 69 as the Imperial purple changes hands not just once, not just twice, not even just thrice (don't worry, that's not much of a spoiler - 'The Year of the Four Emperors' is plastered all over this book!), the author takes us on the journey of four women (sisters and cousins) in one of Rome's most turbulent periods. There is some intrigue, some romance, some violence and plenty of historical detail and context.

And it's a readable book - I zipped through it in a week or so, and didn't begrudge the time I spent on it. No boredom here. But for me, this doesn't have the depth that I thought Mistress of Rome carried. I didn't quite care about the characters enough, I didn't quite find the romance romantic enough. One of the real challenges about writing historical fiction set around a really interesting historical time - and this is definitely that - is finding the balance between telling the history and setting a great story around it. For me, Kate Quinn misses that balance slightly here, perhaps having too much history to cram in (and perhaps having one or two too many main characters) to generate the engagement with her story.

But, for all that, it's definitely fun.
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