In Daughters of Rome we share the year of the four emperors shown from the perspective of four patrician women who play integral parts in the rise and fall of those in power – even if only one of them is aware of it. The perfect daughter, raised to be the next empress, the feckless cousin of renowned beauty who cares only for the chariot races. The now wealthy freed slaves daughter turned patrician through marriage and her father’s wealth – marrying and divorcing to protect the families interests and the would be historian who has grown tired of her gilded cage and wishes to do more than just write history. Their stories weave around each other and the power players of Rome.
Following on from her previous novel we now venture into a new era in Rome’s history with Mistress of Rome. Here we see the start of a new era in Rome. As always Kate Quinn is brilliant – one spoilt girl who’s feels her beauty and fathers money should gain her whatever she desires. In most ways she was right but there was something or should I say someone she wanted that she didn’t get and her actions set off a series of events that lead from the arena to the palace. Two slaves from two different cultures find each find themselves faced with an emperor who believes himself divine – their stories will alter the lives of all they come into contact with and in the end they are faced with the choice to fight or to run and on their decision the fate of an empire hangs.
In Empress of Rome we find that once again Kate Quinn manages to give us a clear look into the day-to-day life in Rome in the years under Trajan. How even the wealthy patricians are not truly free, how morality can be used as a cloak for personal vengeance and that loyalty can and will be rewarded but perhaps not in the way one may wish. This author paints a picture of Rome with words and manages to capture the heights of its glory and the lows of its corrupt decadance.
This series is one of my favourites and Ancient Rome has always been of interest to me. Rome changed the face of the known world and even now its influence can be felt in laws and language around the world. In this set of books we walk with the characters, in the trenches of the legions fighting in Gaul and Germania. Gracing the palace and the arena are those whose names have lived on in histories down through the ages. The look into the everyday life of both slave and patricians is a fascinating read and Kate Quinn’s characters will draw you in until you’re walking with them on the blood soaked sands of the colosseum or the marbled halls of the Emperors palace.