Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mistress of Rome Review

470 pages
Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, passionate, musical, and guarded. Purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia, Thea will become her mistress's rival for the love of Arius the Barbarian, Rome's newest and most savage gladiator. His love brings Thea the first happiness of her life-that is quickly ended when a jealous Lepida tears them apart. As Lepida goes on to wreak havoc in the life of a new husband and his family, Thea remakes herself as a polished singer for Rome's aristocrats. Unwittingly, she attracts another admirer in the charismatic Emperor of Rome. But Domitian's games have a darker side, and Thea finds herself fighting for both soul and sanity. Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin. But in the end, the life of the brilliant and paranoid Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor's mistress.

As far as historical fiction goes this was a great read. For some reason I expected this to be during the Julius Caesar or Octavian period but it actually took place after. I enjoyed having a fresh storyline which I knew nothing about. Thea was an amazingly inspirational character. I found myself getting sucked into her story and despising her mistress Lepida. As far as romance goes I loved the way that Thea was able to find true love in Domitian. I feel like out of everyone in the book Thea went through the most and deserved to find happiness. It was interesting to read about the gladiators and how brutal the games were. I've always thought that it was crazy that in that point in time in Rome they actually enjoyed playing with people's lives for public amusement. This novel was definitely amazing and enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction or enjoys stories of ancient Rome.


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