Blair's Reviews > Mistress of Rome

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn
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's review
Jul 09, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: historical, 2010-release, feelgood, first-novels
Read in June, 2010

While I liked this book a lot, I'm surprised so many reviewers have described it as literary... For me, it was a trashy potboiler, a definite guilty pleasure - albeit a very well-researched one with lots of enjoyable historical detail and exciting action. The vivid depiction of everyday goings-on in ancient Rome brings the period and settings to life in a way the modern reader can easily relate to; I can see this book being turned into a film or TV miniseries, in fact I wouldn't be at all surprised if one is already in production. The characters were great, with the scheming, bitchy Lepida being a highlight - I loved how the sections written from her point of view read like entries from a bratty teenager's diary, and despite how awful she's meant to be, by the end I kind of loved her (and I would also have loved to see more of the relationship between her and Domitian, they would've made a brilliant evil couple!) In comparison to Philippa Gregory's The White Queen - another example of historical fiction based partly on real events and figures, which I read last month - this was so much better. Soapy, but absolutely fantastic fun to read.
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Reading Progress

06/23/2010 page 222
41.0% "Loving this so far - trashy but great and such a page-turner!"

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