Customer Reviews for

Mistress of Rome (Empress of Rome Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 146 )
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5 Star

(89)

4 Star

(38)

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(12)

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(4)

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(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Escape To Ancient Rome

A friend recommended I read this book, so I picked it up and was immediately thrilled to see it was about a gladiator. It's an impressive debut novel with a sweeping story of the lives of the scheming Lepida Pollia, the beautiful slave girl, Thea, and the super-gladiato...
A friend recommended I read this book, so I picked it up and was immediately thrilled to see it was about a gladiator. It's an impressive debut novel with a sweeping story of the lives of the scheming Lepida Pollia, the beautiful slave girl, Thea, and the super-gladiator, Arius. I stayed up into the wee hours finishing the book because I couldn't put it down.

Thea is a slave girl to Lepida, who wants the gladiator for herself. When she learns Thea has beaten her to him, she sells her off to a brothel. Thea, though, remakes herself into the singer Athena, bears Arius's son, and lives a quiet life with her kind master. But Lepida's scheming and trouble-making is far from over. Now determined to become the Emperor's mistress, she will do anything and everything possible to get to him. Until she realizes Thea has once again beaten her to it.

The characters are wonderfully drawn, the story is engrossing and the details of the setting and the history are woven so masterfully, you forget you're reading. This is definitely going on my keeper shelf. I look forward to reading more from this author.

posted by M-Miles on June 11, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Sadomasochistic

If you like blood dripping from 2/3 of a book's pages, you'll like this. Quinn describes constant swords ripping people's bodies in the most ugly detail throughout the book. While Rome was cruel, so is Quinn. She seems to get some personal satisfaction from gratuitous g...
If you like blood dripping from 2/3 of a book's pages, you'll like this. Quinn describes constant swords ripping people's bodies in the most ugly detail throughout the book. While Rome was cruel, so is Quinn. She seems to get some personal satisfaction from gratuitous gore when much less would have served the plot better. Cliched characters abound, she attempts to make an utterly unredeemable main male character sympathetic--impossible given his behavior and lack of conscience, and a heroine who doesn't quite jell. Whether or not her research is accurate, she has mishandled it badly. While I like reading about history, this book plays to the lowest common denominator. Its plot isn't much, depending solely on cruelty; and overall isn't worth the price or a read.

posted by 3635085 on May 23, 2010

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  • Posted June 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Escape To Ancient Rome

    A friend recommended I read this book, so I picked it up and was immediately thrilled to see it was about a gladiator. It's an impressive debut novel with a sweeping story of the lives of the scheming Lepida Pollia, the beautiful slave girl, Thea, and the super-gladiator, Arius. I stayed up into the wee hours finishing the book because I couldn't put it down.

    Thea is a slave girl to Lepida, who wants the gladiator for herself. When she learns Thea has beaten her to him, she sells her off to a brothel. Thea, though, remakes herself into the singer Athena, bears Arius's son, and lives a quiet life with her kind master. But Lepida's scheming and trouble-making is far from over. Now determined to become the Emperor's mistress, she will do anything and everything possible to get to him. Until she realizes Thea has once again beaten her to it.

    The characters are wonderfully drawn, the story is engrossing and the details of the setting and the history are woven so masterfully, you forget you're reading. This is definitely going on my keeper shelf. I look forward to reading more from this author.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Love this book

    Amazing from start to finish

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Trip thru time!

    I liked this book, though I got a little bored at some points, it was entertaining and ends well. The villain is so easy to hate through the whole story. I enjoyed how well the history is brought together. However, some of the modern lanquage seems out of place. I have a 1st gen nook and the formatting didnt work in some places, but I was still able to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2012

    Great

    This book would make a great movie. I'm on to the sequels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Ancient Roman Thriller

    Looking at the photo of the sweet-faced author on the inside back cover, you'd never guess she could write scenes of such gore and bloodshed. But she does, and with relish. Ms. Quinn's descriptions of gladiators' battles, executions, and other mayhem in the Colisseum are vivid and unsparing. Ancient Roman culture was one in which little value was put on human life - and neither rich nor poor were spared nasty and untimely deaths. The aristocracy wasn't any safer from a domineering Emperor than an offending slave was - especially if there was a hint of treason. Even in this toxic environment, a tender love story unfolds between the gladiator Arius and Thea, a beautiful slave who eventually becomes the Emperor's mistress. Much of the tale unfolds in the context of a plot to assassinate the Emperor Domitian, an able but paranoid ruler with questionable and painful sexual preferences when it comes to the unfortunate Thea. Spicing things up is the vixen you love to hate, the vicious and treacherous Lepida, who has a longstanding grudge against Thea and Arius. The story moves at a breathtaking pace - and fortunately, it looks from the author's endnote as if a sequel is in the works. I don't want to miss it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2014

    What the name

    OK THE BOOK

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  • Posted August 23, 2011

    Great read

    Thought was great had some nice page turners. Recomends to my friends

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  • Posted August 22, 2011

    Solid, though not spectacular

    This is a very interesting read set in ancient Rome. A powerful story. My only quibble is that the hero endures far more beatings than would be humanly possible. One can't get chopped to pieces day after day and live to tell about it.

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    Very Good Read

    Totally enjoyed this book. thought the characters were well thought out, the plot had a good array of twists and enjoyed the Historical references.
    I had been to Rome and enjoyed seeing the City as the anchients did.
    The city descriptions and the times really form a picvture that you can follow in your mind.
    It is a good enjoyable read and i can't wait to read more by this auhor.

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  • Posted July 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Interesting

    Great cover! The story was very interesting, but dark. I was very frustrated at times. I thought living in the Medieval Times would have been bad, but this tops it. Loved Thea and Arius. The Julia parts lost me at times, but it all came together. This would make a great mini-series. I can't wait to see what Kate does with part 2 with Vix and Sabina.

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  • Posted June 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Smells like a series.....

    I enjoy historical fiction, and this book filled a niche very well. A story of Imperial Rome has to have its plebs, emperors, slaves and gladiators, right? Quinn's characters are well drawn; she knows when to give the details and when they don't add to the story. For example, there's plenty of sex in here, but we aren't bogged down with the descriptions. Same with the battle scenes. Parts of the tale are predictable, but Quinn foreshadows without tedium and has characters converse without putting you to sleep. While she's managing that, she's bringing you a story you can care about and people who aren't boring. The changing POV is a nice touch, too. Does it describe life in Rome? I don't know. It was an enjoyable rainy-day read, and if there is a sequel (there really has to be, the way it ends) I'll read that one, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2010

    Liked it, very interesting!!

    I liked this book, thought it was very interesting!! I see one of the other reviews says Quin is cruel going into too much bloody details, but you should expect this when your about to read an Ancient Rome book with Gladiators and terrifying Emperors. They were cruel and she just tells it like it was!! I thought the story was great and a great history lesson aswell, she did her research well ;0)

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    Posted October 24, 2010

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    Posted June 29, 2011

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