Vestal Virgin (suspense in ancient Rome)

Vestal Virgin (suspense in ancient Rome)

by Suzanne Tyrpak

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Vestal Virgin (suspense in ancient Rome) by Suzanne Tyrpak

Vestal Virgin—suspense in ancient Rome:

Elissa Rubria Honoria is a Vestal Virgin--priestess of the sacred flame, a visionary, and one of the most powerful women in Rome. Vestals are sacrosanct, sworn to chastity on penalty of death, but the emperor, Nero, holds himself above the law. He pursues Elissa, engaging her in a deadly game of wits and sexuality. Or is Elissa really the pursuer? She stumbles on dark secrets. No longer trusting Roman gods, she follows a new god, Jesus of Nazareth, jeopardizing her life and the future of The Roman Empire.

• New York Times bestselling author TERRY BROOKS says,
“...a writer of real talent...a promising new voice.”

• New York Times bestselling author TESS GERRITSEN says,
“Suzanne Tyrpak weaves a spell that utterly enchants and delights. Her writing is pure magic.” (From "Tales from the Adytum" Collection.)

NOTE: due to the setting and the times, the book includes several scenes involving deviant sex—suggestive rather than graphic—and not more than a few paragraphs.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012045133
Publisher: Adytum
Publication date: 01/03/2011
Series: Tales from the Adytum
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 338
Sales rank: 281,748
File size: 745 KB

About the Author

Suzanne Tyrpak ran away from New York a long time ago to live in Colorado. When she's not writing or traveling, she enjoys riding her bike, swimming, skiing, and dancing. In her next life she would like to be a belly dancer or her cat.

Published novels include, Vestal Virgin (suspense in ancient Rome), Hetaera (suspense in ancient Athens), and Rosy: a Novel. Short story collections include Ghost Plane and Other Disturbing Tales, and Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction).

Suzanne loves to travel. She's been to Egypt, Greece, Italy, and Turkey doing research for her novels. She's interested in the daily lives of ancient people, especially women. In order to create that world, she steeps herself in fragments of writings, jewelry, and household goods--visiting museums and consulting her extensive collection of books. At Marlboro College she majored in Classic Theater (with a focus on ancient Greek plays) and ancient religions.
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers awarded her first prize in the Colorado Gold Writing Contest for her novel, Sisters of the Nile. Maui Writers awarded her third prize in the Rupert Hughes writing competition for Agathon's Daughter. (Hetaera is Book One of the Agathon's Trilogy.) Her short story Downhill was first published in Arts Perspective Magazine. Rock Bottom is published in the Mota 9: Addiction anthology, available on Kindle. Her short story Ghost Plane was published by CrimeSpree Magazine. Venus Faded appears in the anthology Pronto! Writings from Rome (Triple Tree Publishing, 2002) along with notable authors including: Dorothy Allison, Elizabeth Engstrom, Terry Brooks, and John Saul.

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Vestal Virgin: Suspense in Ancient Rome 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
GraceKrispy More than 1 year ago
Taken from her home when still a child, Elissa is a revered Vestal Virgin. Somewhat sequestered from the rest of Roman society, educated and powerful in ways that are different from other women of the time, Elissa struggles between doing what is expected of her and dealing with her strong emotions of longing towards one man and hatred towards another. When her brother and sister become part of the drama that surrounds Elissa, she must fight with every bit of her being in order to survive the perilous future laid out before her. With a fluid writing style, Suzanne Tyrpak has created a gripping tale that immerses you in another time and culture. From the very beginning, I was pulled into the storyline. The plot is well-paced, with excellent timing on the introduction of characters and situations. Initially, more time is spent getting to know the various characters, and the pace picks up in sync with the increasing tension. Throughout the story, we follow the characters as their lives become inextricably intertwined. Each character plays a very important part in the overall story, and they are very well-developed and interesting in their own right. Although the storyline focuses upon Elissa as she struggles to put her world right, the supporting characters are no minor parts. On the contrary, they are just as engaging and complex as Elissa herself. The ending was artfully written, providing both closure and peace. My only real quibble is that I felt the story of Flavia was unfinished. As the story of Elissa was more complete and offered more closure, the ending for Flavia seemed incomplete by comparison and I felt as though there was a bothersome, dangling thread. Although not the main character, Flavia played such an important role that the incompleteness of her tale left me wanting more. Although they were several scenes involving "deviant sex," as the official blurb calls it, they were so skillfully integrated and told suggestively rather than with explicit detail, and they added to the overall story. This tale was truly about Elissa's journey to save herself and her family and to carve out a bit of happiness along the way, and everything in this story supported that theme. Altogether, a beautifully written story from a very talented author! 4.5 stars @ MotherLode review blog
jbkirkpat More than 1 year ago
At its zenith, Rome was a thing; after the decline, merely a place. Suzanne Tyrpak's expertly researched 'Vestal Virgin' takes us to a point between, yet, not down any familiar paths. This Rome is not found in too many other writings. The title is the meaning of the tale, there were women of power, property and standing, when all others in Rome were free slaves - Romans - under another corrupt Caesar: Nero. 'Vestal Virgin' tells us of those women, and has literary power at its foundation, imagination in its highest points. Written with skill, Rome feels as ancient Rome should feel. Our curiosity hopes to find corruption, and it is there. We hope to hear they were indeed thirsty at times for blood, and they were. We can never get enough of Rome, and it is a rare treat to have some new mystery revealed. Ms. Tyrpak does that. The Vestals embodied the purity, and piety of Rome. One had a very dark secret. This author's book is excellent. So good is it, and she, it would have been a glorious read at twice the number of pages. If she writes more of this, I will read it. Text of this sort brings back the grandeur of the thing Rome was.
Pebbles92 More than 1 year ago
Intense, gripping, powerful are just a few of the words I would use to describe this book. The reader is drawn into an emotional whirlwind of intrigue, suspense and anguish. Once I started this book, I was unable to put it down. The author does an excellent job of drawing the reader in and bringing the characters to life. Highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like historical reads. The author has done an excellent job in presenting probable events. There is plot detail blended with history. Definitely worth the the time to read and enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Nerdgirljenn More than 1 year ago
From my Librarything review: I feel remiss in taking such a long time to write this review...this book deserves better, much MUCH better. Let's just say that I had some serious writer's block and vacation time. First off, to get some stuff out of the way...I read this book as part of "Member Giveaway/Early Review" program, and was very glad I got a chance to read it. Vestal Virgin is a nice Historical Romance with a lot of action to add to the romance, I mean, this takes place during the time of Nero and the burning of Rome. Ms. Tyrpak offers her well thought out version of the "real" reason Rome burned. I admit, when there was addition of some Christian characters (and an apostle), I was afraid this was going to be some type of CL(Christian lit) that spends more time on the lesson and less time on the story, and I was thankfully super wrong. There are mentions of these characters, and even the involvement in some motives of the one character or two, but it does not come off as dogmatic, more just to add a bit a flavour to the story, a dash of spice, that adds so much more to the books. So if you're looking for a book of revenge, love, torture, escape, tyranny and revenge, look no further than "Vestal Virgin".
Lauren Horn-Smith More than 1 year ago
Not quite what i expected... The research seemed thorough but the writing itself was lackluster at times. Definitely an interesting story; a chaste priestess, the love of her life, her spoiled sister and the infamous Nero. All of the storylines come together at the end (quite the surprise) but the author rushes it a little. I would recommend this book as a time killer, albeit a longer one (670 pages). Worth the money but dont expect anything worthy of a Pulitzer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dmichaud More than 1 year ago
I don't often read fiction of any kind but this book has got me beginning to reconsider that practice. Tyrpak has written a compelling tale set in the midst the turmoil of the reign of Nero (63-4 CE). Following the central character Elissa, a Vestal Virgin in the ancient Roman cult. From this central character a vision of the very heart of ancient Roman society unfolds, including politics, passions, and very early (and illegal) Christian Church.
honoliipali More than 1 year ago
Other reviews tell you the storyline of this fine novel set in Rome during the time of Nero so I will concentrate on the writing. Suzanne Tyrpak has shown herself to be a first tier writer. She has woven a tale of life and tribulations of a historically accurate Vestal Virgin. I was unaware that they even existed. Suzanne has crafted a wonderfully articulate story of fictional characters interwoven amongst historical figures. Characters are introduced cleanly giving the reader the ability to immerse themselves in the story. There are a fair number of characters that are interwoven yet there is no confusion regarding their purpose. Throughout the book, I felt that I was the proverbial fly on the wall. I felt that I could actually visualize the story rather than just reading words on a page. The writing style is engrossing - you are drawn in and kept entranced. If I had a physical book I am sure that I would have been unable to put it down. I read the first half on my iPhone which is not the best medium. I finished using a Kindle reader app which allowed me to read more in one sitting. I believe Ms. Tyrpak has established herself as an author capable of competing with the mainstream published authors. I am waiting with great anticipation for her next novel that I understand may be out by years end.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
Its a look at Rome in the time of Nero. With some real figures and places woven into a story with fiction characters of what the lives where like. Elissa Rubria Honoria is a vestal virgin and bound to serve as a virgin for 30 years. She cares for her family and tries to save her brother than her sister from Nero. Gallus Justinus loves Elissa and has been in the senate and following Paul teachings of Jesus. Tells a lot of sex and drugs and things Nero and his court are up to. How he can turn from friends and put them to death in the circus. Nero once lover Marcus (Elissa brother)he thinks he want to kill him. Than wants Elissa as a lover and she denies him and then wants her little sister. friends are spys on each other. Its is an engaging book. I did not want to put it down. I was given the ebook in exchange for honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
treegenus More than 1 year ago
Very nicely done - historically taking the reader back to Ancient Rome. The main characters were fully formed and interesting. I personally would have liked the dialog to be less modern-casual so that I could really stay in the feel of the time period. Text like 'Nero rubbed his neck (and said) "I wouldn't want to mess the rugs" just kept jolting me back to the present moment with this too casual dialog throughout the entire book and because of that, unfortunately I wanted to put down the book OR finish the book so I could go on to my next Nook selection, rather than relish the reading of Suzanne Tyrpak's Vestal Virgins. I think Ms. Tyrpak would make an excellent writer of quality pulp fiction'ish type novels. She tends to sway off the road towards R and X rated genre in this book as if she can't make up her mind what type of novel to write, but that's only my opinion and please don't misinterpret my review because I would gladly look forward to reading the next book by Suzanne that stays true-to-form, whether it be filled with naughty or delightful sexual content or strictly mainstream historical fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Jaidis More than 1 year ago
Vestal Virgin by Suzanne Tyrpak was nothing like I thought it would be. It was better! Normally I try and stay away from books set in ancient Rome because they always seem to irritate me, often telling the exact same story and are almost always predictable. Ms. Tyrpak wastes no time jumping into the action and setting up the story that will keep you hooked until you finish. I kept waiting for a spot where I could leave off for the night and return to it later but that spot never arrived. I read it straight through. We meet Elissa, who happens to be a Vestal Virgin. Vestal Virgins are normally picked as young girls, often only nine years old, and are forced into the temple where they take a vow to remain a virgin for 30 years so that they may better serve the Gods. Being a Vestal Virgin means that a woman is allowed to do things that aren't normally allowed of woman in ancient Rome such as owning land and controlling her own money. Everyone thinks being selected is an honor but what it also means is that a Vestal Virgin is destined to live a loveless life as they are nearly 40 years old when finally released from their vows. Many stay at the temple as they have no place to go and don't want to be alone for their remaining years. Meanwhile, Nero sits upon the Roman throne and holds himself above all others, claiming that he is a God and can do as he pleases. After having Elissa's brother named a traitor and killed for treason, Elissa makes it her goal to see to it that Nero is punished. She begins to question her faith in her Gods after her brother is murdered, her sister's innocence is taken, and friends turn into spies. Vestal Virgin is written with strong religious themes, which I normally try to stay away from while reviewing books because religion is such a delicate topic with people today. I personally believe that if the religious theme had been down played just a bit, it would make for a better story and possibly appeal to those who do not have strong religious beliefs. Even with that being said, Vestal Virgin was wonderfully written, suspenseful and intriguing. There are strong adult themes throughout the book and although they are not extremely descriptive, they should only be read by mature adult audiences.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LCEvans More than 1 year ago
In general I'm a fan of historical fiction, including ancient Rome, so I was immediately drawn to Vestal Virgin. I was not disappointed. The author did a superb job with the setting. She deftly worked in details of life in ancient Rome, and I could easily understand the everyday life of the times and exactly what it meant to be a vestal virgin. The sights, the smells, the sounds--all seemed real as I watched the characters' lives unfold. The virgins typically were chosen as children and took vows to serve for 30 years. Vestal virgin Elissa is the main character and she is no exception to the strict laws. As a vestal, she is an educated and powerful woman who starts out wanting to avenge her brother's death at the hands of the tyrannical Nero. She ends up finding a better goal. Along the way she is pursued by Nero, who thinks he is a god. But courageous Elissa is also a mystic and she works to decipher an ancient prophecy that foretells the destruction of Rome. Elissa's younger sister Flavia is another strong woman character. Ambitious Flavia has a different goal from her sister--she wants to become Nero's wife. I read this book quickly, unable to put it down. I was caught up in the story and totally invested in the lives of the well-drawn characters. I loved Elissa and even Flavia, who behaved like a naive and spoiled child, won me over in the end. The men characters, though well-drawn, did not appeal to me as much and came across as weak in comparison to the women. Very enjoyable book and I would like to read more by this talented author.