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Mistress of Rome (The Empress of Rome #1)

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  11,403 Ratings  ·  1,208 Reviews
The first in an unforgettable historical saga from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Alice Network.

"So gripping, your hands are glued to the book, and so vivid it burns itself into your mind's eye and stays with you long after you turn the final page."--Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author

First-century Rome: A ruthless emperor watc
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Paperback, 500 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Berkley Books
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Beatrix
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I took it because I didn’t know what to read next. I thought it will be some shallow romance story, but I was wrong. This book is great! It has everything: interesting plot (constantly something happens, this book is full of events, the plot doesn’t drag on), great characters (I loved narration from different points of view here, you get to know a whole palette of amazing characters) and quality – it’s very important that the book is well written, an ...more
Parvathy
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical literature, spartacaus fans,gladiators
Recommended to Parvathy by: goodreads
The first time I realized I loved reading was when I was eight and had finished reading The Vicar of Wakefield. I still remember the feeling I had when I clutched the book in my hand and declared I loved reading. It was not because the particular book in question was extraordinary, regardless of its status as a classic, but it was the first time a book has completely captured my attention that everything else seemed pale in comparison. I have read a number of books after this one and loved a few ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Ok people, key word in the synposis is "depravity." I wish I had paid closer attention. I spent this entire novel trying to find a character I could at least like if not relate to in some way. It didn't happen.

Thea is a Jewish slave that works for Lepida, a Roman "lady." Both Thea and Lepida develope lustful feelings towards the newest, fiercest, most famous gladiator, Arius. The first quarter of the novel really drew me in as Arius spurns Lepida (she has the eyes of a ferret, apparently) and be
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Amber
May 04, 2010 rated it liked it

I bought this on a whim. I didn't read the back, I didn't read any reviews, I certainly didn't read the page of critic's praise just inside the cover. Every time I've gone on these indicators lately, I've been incredibly disappointed. So, I bought this one based on--GASP!--the cover!

I was skeptical as the first several pages are describing a self-harming ritual of one of the main characters. I was even a little disgusted by such a transparent hook, but I found that I couldn't put the book down.
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Avis
Oh.

description

description

Kate Quinn is the queen of characterization. Seriously. Every person in this book has been carefully and thoroughly planned. Kate gave them flaws, a past, their own strengths and weaknesses. She gave them voice of their own and made them stand out in a crowd. She made them all, Thea, Arius, Lepida, even the minor characters, truly unforgettable and only a great writer can do that.

Thea was my favourite character. She was fragile, yet incredibly strong person. Life wasn't easy for her, being a
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Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Its very rare that I give a book a 5 star rating ,but this book deserves it.This book from the start drew me into the story & the characters and wouldnt let go...I would put the book aside to slow down as I didnt want it to come to the end..and yet I kept picking it back up..and it kept drawing me back into Thea's & Arius lives & story.
The author writes in the first person for some of the characters which may seem confusing to some at first. But you get to know each person in their p
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Carol  ꧁꧂
3.5*

To my grandparents, Glenn & Marylou Reed-Quinn,who are no longer here to read this book, but who would undoubtedly have cracked a bottle of champagne & bought a dozen copies.

My favourite dedication of the year.

I didn't respond quite so strongly to the book. I don't need a likeable heroine - Forever Amber & Gone with the Wind remain as two of my favourite novels. I think the problem is that I felt nothing for Thea at all & found most of the other female characters more interes
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Blair
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 surpri ...more
Juliette Cross
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-faves-rereads
3rd Reread. One of my very favorite books. 5+ STARS

This book has all the elements of the perfect story, in my opinion. Danger, despair, hope, betrayal, revenge, murder, lust, and undying, unconditional love. And though this is accurately categorized as historical fiction, it centers around one of the best love stories I've ever read. EVER.
Jenny Q
4.5 Stars. Wow, what a story! I was under its spell from the very first page, and I could not put it down, mainly because I was instantly drawn to the lead characters, Arius and Thea. They are both slaves, subject to the whims of the Roman aristocracy. They are both fighting to survive: Arius in the arena, and Thea in the service of her truly awful mistress, Lepida. I loved them both, but my heart really went out to Thea. This was my first experience with a character who cuts herself, and I was ...more
twelvejan [Alexandria]
If I could reach for the stars, I would give it all to MOR <3

Have you ever read something that flows so smoothly, that the entire novel seems to unfurl in your mind to become such an epic movie? That is the brilliance of Mistress of Rome.

Quinn is a remarkable writer and storyteller. She flawlessly breathe life to her characters - each and everyone of them. She made you Thea, the slave girl turned singer turned Mistress of Rome. She made you understand Thea's pain, love, and heartbreak; when
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Abby Lyn
Jun 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book based on the cover recommendations of authors including Diana Gabaldon and Margaret George, and was not disappointed. This is a fun, enthralling romp through ancient Rome. I would classify this as more of a guilty-pleasure page-turner rather than literary as George suggests, but that is what makes it a great summer read. I would have preferred the author kept to either third or first person rather than alternating back and forth, and the dialogue was a bit modern American f ...more
Minni Mouse
That moment when you go in expecting a Roman version of a Regency-era historical romance...but instead you get a Gladiator-level storyline meets Game of Thrones-level cruelty and wickedness.

It's an understatement to say that this book took me by surprise. Given the pretty cover, the title, the genre listings, and the book description I was expecting either a corny historical romance novel or a silly, light-hearted story like Curses and Smoke. What smacked me in the face instead was a whole lo
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Jeannie Mancini
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
The Nastiness of Ancient Rome

In Kate Quinn’s new debut novel Mistress of Rome, she presents the raw, blood and guts side of the ancient city and it’s people. I was eager to read this historical novel, this time period is one of my favorites. However, I can’t say I enjoyed it. I struggled and struggled and had to quit about 3/4 of the way through. I was astounded that on the cover of the ARC, there was an endorsement blurb by the queen of historical fiction, Margaret George, calling this book “li
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Antoinette
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction at its finest!!! I absolutely loved this book. Once I started it, I could not leave it. The story just flowed. The author was great at depicting all the characters in this book. I must say I loved Thea as much as I detested Lepida. I love fiction that takes place in ancient Rome and this book is definitely a winner.
Brittany
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mistress of Rome took some time to hook me, but when it did I couldn't put it down. I adored some characters and absolutely loathed others. A great character driven read.
Rebecca Huston
I tried very hard to like this one. Set in ancient Rome, during the reign of Emperor Domitian, it tells the story of two doomed lovers, Thea and Arius, who struggle not just for freedom but also to save their very lives. Along the way, we get a tour of the Colosseum's deadly games, with plenty of descriptive gore and violence, and if that's not enough, Thea's and Arius' abuse at the hands of others is also lovingly described. There's also Domitian, who is clearly just as mad as previous Emperors ...more
Amy Bruno
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In the summer of 1993 in between my junior and senior year in high school I had the unique opportunity to travel to Rome as part of the Travel and Tourism program at my school. We spent 9 days in Rome with a day trip to Florence and walked what felt like to be a gazillion miles. Though after a horrific experience with the taxi drivers of Rome, the walking didn’t seem all that bad after all! One of my favorite sights following, of course, the Sistine Chapel was the Coliseum. This massive work of ...more
Krista Baetiong Tungol
I was never really interested in stories about gladiators and ancient Rome, but this book about a slave woman who falls in love with a gladiator during Emperor Domitian’s time and becomes enmeshed in a tangle of imperial politics and social injustices changed all that. I like how the fictional protagonists are sensible and astute, and how their characters perfectly blend in with the story’s historical backdrop and portrayals of real-life people, as if they too lived in the past. The story is eng ...more
Mishelle LaBrash
May 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Bloody Fantastic Book.

Bursting with amazing characters, some you will fall madly in love with, while others you will just love to despise.

Corruption, Jeolousy, Murder, Conspiracy, Heartbreak, Adultry, Passion, and above all Love detail this courageous and brilliant first novel of the amazing Kate Quinn.

Fast paced, and jaw clenching, this is a story for the masses. A definate page turner, with a guarantee to keep you up all night, ignore the family, and sneak as many reading breaks from work a
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Erica
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rome
Not a fan of romance novels but love reading about Ancient Rome? Give this book a try. I did and I'm glad for it. I was pleasantly surprised by Mistress of Rome. I really liked the writing style and I loved the characters. But I have other books to read Mrs. Quinn and now you've got me wrapped up in the lives of Arius, Thea, Vix, Marcus, and Sabina. It's on to book two for me. My favorite part of the book? "Ganymede...Ganymede...Ganymede.." (Take that you stupid bitch! hahaha)

I'd give this book
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Soniaibz
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Este libro es una auténtica telenovela romana. Tenemos un poco de todo intrigas y traiciones, romance y depravación, drama del bueno y acción sangrienta en el coliseo. Los personajes tienen mucha fuerza y están bien definidos. Parece que la autora se ha documentado bastante para escribir la novela pero no se ve suficientemente bien reflejada la época ni aporta información relevante, solo aporta una leve ambientación y algunos datos interesantes. Y seamos sinceros, calidad literaria NULA, aqui lo ...more
Stephanie Dray
This is a long overdue review for a book that I'm crazy about. This isn't the kind of dry or overly artsy narrative that sometimes puts people off historical fiction. This is an extremely dynamic novel in the tradition of Spartacus, Gladiator, or HBO's Rome.

It's splashy, salacious, adventurous good fun with a kick-ass protagonist and villains who need to die. Quinn takes a mysterious historical assassination and invents a whole cast of characters to explain everything in an exciting and thought-
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Renee
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Okay, what can I say that can express how much I enjoyed Mistress of Rome? Hmm. I enjoyed this book as much as I'd enjoy a quiet evening with Mr. Owen. Yes, that much.

I was swept into the story effortlessly and carried along with the characters. I went into the reading figuring as a first novel, if I enjoyed the read, as I've enjoyed other writing here by this author, I'd give it 3 or 4 stars. I'd read reviews about Mistress of Rome that made me nervous. The POV jumps, the 'gratuitous sex' and t
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Kristy
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Michelle Moran fans, fans of the HBO Show ROME
Shelves: historical
This was my kind of book!!! I purchased this bad boy for 3 dollars at Big Lots(who even knew they sold books) along with a couple others all under 5 bucks! Can't beat that. I had this book on my to-be-read shelf for quite some time, so naturally when I found it for so cheap, I was ecstatic.

Wahoo for cheap books!

The very quick synopsis: (spoilers)
This is a book about "old" Rome. We are following a slave girl whose lover is a gladiator, but their love gets separated when Thea's master sells her o
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Renae
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story gave me everything I love in a good novel: intense family drama, action, solid character development, deep love, with many historical facts used as the foundation (or as much fact that we know of this time period). Loved the characters. As tortured and damaged as they were, they perservered. I really cared about what happened to each of them. I do recognize that some of the storyline didn't fit together perfectly, but I was able to look over that. Because of this book, I now want to r ...more
Rio (Lynne)
Great cover! The story was very interesting, but dark. I was very frustrated at times. I thought living in the Medieval Times would have been bad, but this tops it. Loved Thea and Arius. The Julia parts lost me at times, but it all came together.This would make a great mini-series. I can't wait to see what Kate does with part 2 with Vix and Sabina.
Robin
I felt like this had a little bit of a slow start - not that it was boring, I just thought it took a little while for the plot to really kick in. But once it did... wow, did it kick in! Kate Quinn is one of those authors who can master both compelling characterization and thrilling plots.

There's so much going on, the plot takes a couple turns I wasn't really expecting, and there's so many interesting characters that you'll either love to love, or love to hate.

I definitely can't wait to read the
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Judi Easley
Disclaimer: This book was acquired from Barnes and Noble for Nook at full price. This is an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.

~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:
Sarah suggested I read this series, and as usual, she was right. This first book of the series starts out with a couple that you cheer for even when they do awful things to get by. They have been dealt such lousy hands in this game, it just doesn't seem fair that
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reading Through T...: October Read: Mistress of Rome 2 14 Oct 20, 2015 01:41PM  
Rome: Mistress of Rome (bringing it all together) 1 9 Apr 11, 2015 10:01AM  
Rome: Mistress of Rome (theme: Blood) 1 4 Apr 11, 2015 09:37AM  
Rome: Mistress of Rome (Quotes) 1 4 Apr 11, 2015 09:10AM  
Beyond Mr. Darcy:...: September 2013: Mistress of Rome 4 19 Sep 25, 2013 02:25PM  
Round Lake Librar...: Mistress of Rome! 13 31 Apr 30, 2013 03:16AM  
Round Lake Librar...: Meetings in events calendar 4 11 Apr 29, 2013 12:57PM  
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Kate Quinn is a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written seven historical novels, including the bestselling "The Alice Network," the Empress of Rome Saga, and the Borgia Chronicle. All have been translated into multiple languages.

Kate and h
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More about Kate Quinn

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  • Love, Chloe
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“I love you. I love the way you rub the scar on the back of your hand when you're nervous. I love the way you make a sword into a living part of your body. I love the way you burn your eyes into me, as if you're seeing me fresh every time. I love the black streak in you that wants to kill the world, and the soft streak that is sorry afterward. I love the way you laugh, as if you're surprised that you can laugh at all. I love the way you kiss my breath away. I love the way you breathe and speak and smile. I love the way you take the air out of my lungs when you hold me. I love the way you make a dance out of death. I love the confusion I see in your eyes when you realize you are happy. I love every muscle and bone in your body, every twist and bend in your soul.” 120 likes
“Have you ever been - well, i mean, have you ever - really wanted someone ? Wanted them like water in the desert - even when you knew all their faults, every single one - and it didnt matter ?” 52 likes
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