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The Wedding Shroud

(Tales of Ancient Rome #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,897 ratings  ·  223 reviews
In 406 BC, to seal a tenuous truce, the young Roman Caecilia is wedded to Vel Mastarna, an Etruscan nobleman from Veii. Leaving her militaristic homeland, Caecilia is determined to remain true to Roman virtues while living among the sinful Etruscans. But, despite her best intentions, she is seduced by a culture that offers women education, independence, sexual freedom, and ...more
Kindle Edition, 514 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Lake Union Publishing (first published September 1st 2010)
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Elisabeth Storrs Apologies for the delay in answering. Thanks for you interest. There is mature content but not erotica. The book explores the pleasure loving Etruscan…moreApologies for the delay in answering. Thanks for you interest. There is mature content but not erotica. The book explores the pleasure loving Etruscans and their religion which was fascinating but did involve sacrifices. I hope that answers your question. My protagonist finds independence, education and sexual freedom in her new home compared to the repressive society of Rome. Best wishes, Elisabeth(less)

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
A meticulously researched and well-written book that falls short of my expectations overall because of the weakness of the main character and the absolutely ridiculous turn of the plot after the second half. Warning: this is a very long review, containing a lot of ranting and disbelief on the reviewer's part.

Caecelia is a young Roman half-caste. Her mother was a noblewoman brought down from her high station in life by her marriage with a commoner, as a stragegic alliance, which brought her no en
Ari Reavis
*Received from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*

This was an infuriating read. I didn't want to continue, but had to know what happened at the end of the story. I didn't want to continue because quite frankly, I got bored. There was too much detail. Things were explained too much. The traditions and religion was spoken of too often. More than needed to understand the story. But I had to keep going because I wanted to know if Caecilia fell in love with Mastarna, and vice versa. If Masta
Lauren K
May 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review was first posted @ The Australian Bookshelf

It has been awhile since I have given a five star rating to a novel and The Wedding Shroud is certainly worthy of this. If I wasn’t a fan of historical romance before, I certainly am now! The Wedding Shroud is a tale of early Rome and it had me hooked from the very first page.

At 18 years of age, Caecilia has only ever experienced genuine love and care from one man in her life, her father. When he dies she is sent away to live with her aunt
Judith Starkston
The subtitle of this historical romance is “A Tale of Early Rome,” but it should also say “A Tale of the Etruscans.” I always think of the Etruscans as a mysterious people predating and then overlapping with the Romans before disappearing from history—about whom, I thought, we knew very little. Elisabeth Storrs showed me how fully their world can be imagined based on the evidence of archaeology and ancient sources. From translucent silken gowns, gold embossed mirrors, realistic paintings, delici ...more
May 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c21st, australia, 11review
I hope that Elisabeth Storrs has written the sequel to The Wedding Shroud by the time I set off on my next long-haul flight. It’s always difficult to find the right book to while away the long hours: I want something not too arduous for a brain disoriented by lack of sleep and muddled time zones, but I don’t want my mind insulted by inane pap either…

The Wedding Shroud is a well-written historical novel with a twist. It’s set way back in Rome’s ancient past when they were yet to become the most
Ben Kane
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elisabeth Storrs first became fascinated with the mysterious Etruscan people, ancient neighbours and enemies of the city of Rome, when she saw the remarkable funerary carving that depicts a husband and wife under the same shroud. It is a picture of equality between the sexes that would never have been seen (at least as far as we know) in Rome. Driven by her fascination with this, she set about writing a novel that has as its central character a young Roman woman, Caecilia, but which is primarily ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Historical Fiction, but I am tired of the usual Tudor-Anglo-French setting.
When I saw this book with a heroine centric focus set in Ancient Rome- I was exited.
The plot was really engrossing and I found myself reluctant to put it down.
The historical details were fascinating and it is obvious that the Author spent a lot of time in researching the background.
The writing was smooth, the pace was good.

However the heroine Cecelia was a ninny. It's hard to give a book 5 stars when you want to ki
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elisabeth Storrs resurrects the lost world of the Etruscans in her masterful novel The Wedding Shroud set in 407 B.C. Long overshadowed by the Romans, the earlier Etruscan culture of ancient Italy is brilliantly revealed through the eyes of the novel's heroine, a young Roman woman named Caecilia. The daughter of an awkward plebian and patrician union, Caecilia is used to seal a peace treaty between Rome and Veii, a nearby Etruscan city. Her scheming male relatives force her to marry Vel Mastarna ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘This is our wedding shroud’, he said, ‘Eventually it will embrace us in death.’

‘The Wedding Shroud’ opens in 406 BCE, and brings to imagined life the Etruscan culture of ancient Italy. The novel’s heroine, a young Roman woman named Caecilia – the daughter of a patrician mother and a plebeian father – is married off to secure a peace treaty between Rome and Veii. Caecilia is married to Vel Mastarna, a powerful and wealthy Veientane in Rome, and then is taken to Veii where a second marriage cerem
Mar 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book more than I did.
Set in 406 BC, this novel told of a political marriage between an unwilling Roman girl and a noble Etruscan meant to bring peace between two cities who hate each other. The opening sentence "Her whole world was orange" grabbed me--her Roman wedding. She returns to Veii with her husband, is married in Etruscan rites but then the book lost me halfway through. She does nothing to accept her husband's culture until she's under the influence of an aphrodisi
On one hand, this book is the type of book you read and want to know what happens next. On the other hand, this is the type of the book were the main character should be hit smacked. If she is suppose to be well read then wouldn't she be more be aware. I get her being virginal but she is a bit of a spoiled brat.

Still, I did want to know what happened.
Gary Inbinder
Nov 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rome and Veii - 406. B.C. Eighteen year old Caecilia, the orphaned daughter of a plebian Tribune and his patrician wife, is given in marriage by her maternal uncle and adoptive father Aemilius to Etruscan nobleman, Vel Mastarna. The political marriage is ostensibly intended to cement a shaky truce between the two warring cities. Caecilia has formed attachments to two young Roman patricians, her cousin Marcus and his best friend Drusus; she feels no attraction to Mastarna, a battle scarred enemy ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
The Wedding Shroud Interesting time period. Historical details are well written and well-placed in the flow of the book. It would be difficult to get them all right no matter your pedigree and readers will always find fault or quibble with some detail. For me there were two jarring occurrences. One was the use of the word angel several times in Caecelia’s expression of worship of different deities. I realize that this word that conveys a Judeo-Christian concept to me can represent something quit ...more
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a good book. It's complex yet not hard to understand, and it has amazing characters that linger on in the mind (yes, I'm thinking of Mastarna.) I fell in love a little with him, and wow, the way the book ends, you really root for this couple.

I've seen some comments about Caecilia and would like to add my two cents. She's just 18 when BOOM, she's told she's being given in marriage to a man (a complete stranger, and 20 years older than her) who is the enemy of Rome! (It's some politi
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was very unusual, different to what I had imagined when I started it, but I came to really enjoy it. The author did a wonderful job in portraying the contrasts between the two cities Veii and Rome--only twelve miles apart and yet vastly different. The central character Caecilia is Roman born yet Etruscan wed and it is her altering perspectives that we as the reader are shown throughout the novel. I really liked Caecilia and therefore found myself connected to her story.
The reason I fo
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker
A beautiful, detail rich, historical fiction story that simply amazed me. I was surprised I didn't let the beginning frustrate me since I have a tendency to give up on books that have a lot of unfamiliar detail that I must learn. And boy did I learn plenty from this book.

I knew nothing about the Etruscans before this book. I'm sure I was taught about the war between the Etruscan city of Veii and Rome but before this book, I'll tell you I didn't care to remember anything I previously learned. Yo
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aww2013
I really want to know what happened next!
Sep 16, 2021 marked it as dnf
Oh how I wanted to read and love these books. I tried to like this book. I picked it up twice to only stop reading in frustration. There was something in the storytelling. I couldn't connect with the language at all. The timeline/characters seemed disjointed. I was confused from the beginning.

Thank you for the opportunity to review this book and hopefully I will find another one of your titles to love.

I received an advanced reader copy from Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley
Emmeline (The Book Herald)
I was kindly given this ARC by Lake Union Publishing in return for an honest review.

"I am Aemilia Caeciliana. Today I am Rome. I must endure."

What. A. Tale!

Okay, this book in terms of the research and the depiction of the time period, it was stunning.
If you ever wanted to know what the Etruscans were like, then here is a book that delves deeply in cultural practices, religion, and marital rights, etc...

Honestly, so many things in this book made me cringe. Not necessarily in a bad way, it's
Maria Grazia
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
It got me hooked from the first words in the Prologue - "Her whole world was orange" - and I couldn't put it down for a while. THE WEDDING SHROUD is a surprising page-turner , about-500-page- thick, dense with tension, emotion and sensuousness, crowded with unforgettable vivid characters: Cecilia, Mastarna, Tarchon, Marcus, Drusus, Larthia, Ulthes, Erene, Artile, Arruns, Cytheris, Tulumnes, and even dead Seianta. Elisabeth Storrs combines detailed research and remarkably talented writing in her ...more
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elisabeth Storrs brings us life in the Etruscan times when Rome and Veii (an Etruscan city merely 12 miles away)were enemies. The heroine, Caecilia, a Roman born from a plebian father and patrician mother (back then a problem from the onset), is given in marriage to a Veii as a peace treaty of the two regions.

Caecillia, having been brought up as a cloistered and extremely modest young Roman girl, is brought into a world that in every way contrasts her own. Married to Val Mastarna, a wealthy and
Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws
I do love historical fiction and also a good romance. Club them together, add some political twists and some drama – I am sold!

Cecelia has been brought up as a modest young woman – as expected from Roman women in those days. Growing up, she knew love in two forms. First from her loving father who died when she was still very young. Then she met Drusus, her cousin’s friend while living under the guardianship of her uncle. Drusus and Cecelia loved each other and wanted to get married, but her unc
M. Locke
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Compelling story of Ancient Rome and the Etruscans

Talk about the difficulties in arranged marriages! In The Wedding Shroud, author Elisabeth Storrs tells the story of a Roman woman, Caecilia, who is wed to a complete stranger, the Etruscan noble, Vel Marstarna, in order to cement a truce between the two nations. Caecilia has already experienced the difficulties of being the offspring of a marriage between a commoner and a patrician, never fully fitting into Roman society, when she is further t
I love how kindles can make a chunky, long historical fiction book manageable. yesterday i took the long flight home from spain to san francisco alone, and this book kept me company. it just drew me in right from the start. i loved how descriptive it was, so much can tell that she really spent a ton of time doing her historical research. i've seen things in museums about the etruscans, studied them a teency bit in college, but they were never really brought to life the way they were ...more
Deborah Pickstone
Caecelia is rather irritating but - she is a young woman, a girl, really, and I think she's fairly true to many girls of her age at marriage. Stubborn, that is. Also xenophobic, which I am sure would have been true!

We know next to nothing about the Etruscans, so Ms Storrs really had a clear field and has imagined a rather attractive lifestyle with some less nice and definitely not politically correct add-ons. Rome presents as quite unpleasant; I think her heart was in Etruria from the outset!

I w
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
The book started out really strong with an interesting cast of characters and an intriguing setting. The author did a good job of bringing ancient Rome and Veii to life. But around the halfway mark I found myself getting increasingly frustrated. The main character begins making bizarre choices that seemed out of character, far too much time was suddenly spent on depicting the religious rituals of the time, and the plot took a sudden turn into left field. I continued because I wanted to know what ...more
Karen Brooks
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While it’s been a long time between books set in Ancient Rome, never before have I read one that focusses on Etruscan culture and, in particular, those from a region only twelve miles from the Tiber River, called Veii.
This story centres on the marriage of a young Roman woman named Caecilia who, to satisfy a treaty, is married to a nobleman from Veii, the wealthy and brave Mastarna. Thrust into an unfamiliar and enemy culture, aware she’s a pawn in a political game, Caecilia is terrified of losin
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
First, the good things about the book. It's jam-packed with information about ancient Rome and the surrounding area. From religion, to clothing, to food, to war, and even interactions between people. I learned a lot from reading this book. Elisabeth Storrs also has a gift with weaving a story that's mesmerizing and she gives you such a strong sense of time and place. Even when I wasn't reading the book, I found myself thinking about it and the characters. She described the setting extremely well ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this book; it kept my attention about the young half blooded Roman and the decision to marry her off to an Etruscan warrior to seal the peace for Rome. I loved the young girl, but I felt there needed to be much more character development tor Vel, the King who she was to marry. I felt there was too much religious detail, though some of it helped explain certain traditions in later Christian and Roman religions that had nothing to to with the story. I am now interested in reading more Etru ...more
Elizabeth Bell
Really 3.5. I just didn't enjoy this enough to give it 4. I'm not sure why, but it didn't hold my attention. I guess I never connected to the characters. It did a marvelous job bringing to life its setting. What I found most interesting were these non-Jewish, non-Christian characters' worries about sin and sacraments. Was that the author's Christian worldview bleeding through, or did ancient Romans and Etruscans really think like that and it influenced Christianity? ...more
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Elisabeth Storrs has a great love for the history, legends and myths of the ancient world. She is the award-winning author of the A Tale of Ancient Rome saga which was endorsed by Ursula Le Guin, Kate Quinn and Ben Kane. Now she’s hurtling centuries forward to write Treasured, a novel set in WW2 Germany about stolen art, crazy Nazi archaeology, and a race to save the Trojan Gold during the fall of ...more

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Tales of Ancient Rome (3 books)
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