196 Following

Carpe Librum

Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.

You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

Currently reading

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
Barbara W. Tuchman
7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life
Mary C. Neal, M.D.
The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America
Richard John Neuhaus
A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Carla Barnhill, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jim Wallis

Review: Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

Mistress of Rome - Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn is a skilled writer who expertly recreates the world of ancient Rome in this book. That being said, ancient Rome was a pretty horrible place, apparently filled with selfish, hedonistic people. By employing constantly changing points of view in this book, Quinn introduces the reader to several characters, from slaves and gladiators to the emperor, but I couldn't find a single one likable.

I adored Quinn's Borgia books, but this one just felt more like a soap opera style romance, even with its strong basis in Roman history. I could not find any way to relate to or appreciate the main character, Thea. While much of her hardship is due to the fact that she is a slave, I still found it difficult to have much pity for her.

The author creates many varied personalities, blending fictional with historical, with great expertise. Scenes of the Colosseum and Roman landscape combined with the broad cast of characters made this a 4-star read for me, even if I found that the subject matter did not interest me as much as I had thought it might.