Éowyn's Reviews > Daughters of Rome

Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn
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's review
Apr 13, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from April 13 to 15, 2012

This is the second book in Quinn's Rome series, but confusingly the action here takes place chronologically before the first one. The setting for this book is 69AD - the Year of the Four Emperors, so plenty of plotting and back stabbing all round.

Many of the characters in this novel did exist historically. Obviously the further back in time you go, the less information there is generally available about what actually went on, which I suppose is a good thing for the historical novelist! The novel centres around four female cousins; two sisters and their two first cousins to be precise. The sisters really did exist, although more is known about one than the other (this is clear when you have read the book and read the historical note at the end). The cousins are invented to drive the plot along; Lollia starts off almost like a WAG - seemingly a bit empty headed and marrying whoever is in favour that month, but she does develop into a more likeable, rounded character. While Diana is difficult to dislike she is a pretty flat character; she's beautiful and completely obsessed with horses and 'The Reds' chariot racing team - a bit like a football bore today I suppose! The sister-in law, Tullia, is another very one-dimensional character, probably best summed up as 'fishwife'.

Many events are based on historical fact, but there are some bits, like the cousins escaping from Rome, that seems a bit unrealistic.

Overall, I found this quite a quick (for a 400 page novel) and entertaining read, but I suspect that like Quinn's Mistress of Rome, I may well be pushed to remember any plot details in a few months time and I probably wouldn't read it again.

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