Author: Kate Quinn
Publisher: April 5, 2011
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a historical fiction fan.
From Goodreads.com: "A.D. 69. Nero is dead.
The Roman Empire is up for the taking. With bloodshed spilling out of the palace and into the streets of Rome, chaos has become the status quo. The Year of Four Emperors will change everything—especially the lives of two sisters with a very personal stake in the outcome….
Elegant and ambitious, Cornelia embodies the essence of the perfect Roman wife. She lives to one day see her loyal husband as Emperor. Her sister, Marcella, is more withdrawn, content to witness history rather than make it. Even so, Marcella has her share of distinguished suitors, from a cutthroat contender for the throne to a politician’s son who swears that someday he will be Emperor.
But when a bloody coup turns their world upside down, Cornelia and Marcella—along with their cousins, one a collector of husbands and lovers, the other a horse-mad beauty with no interest in romance—must maneuver carefully just to stay alive. As Cornelia tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams, Marcella discovers a hidden talent for influencing the most powerful men in Rome. In the end, though, there can only be one Emperor … and one Empress."
My Two Cents:
"Daughters of Rome" is the second book in Kate Quinn's "The Empress of Rome" series but this book feels more like a companion to the first book, "Mistress of Rome" rather than a sequel. That being said, you don't need to read the first book before you get to this one and you will understand this book just fine. However, "Mistress of Rome" is a treat so you should read it anyhow! "Daughters of Rome" is a great treat for the historical fiction lover!
The book takes place during the Year of Four Emperors and follows four young women as they try to pave their path through Ancient Rome. There is Cornelia, Lollia, Marcella, and Diana, who all have different ambitions for who they would like to marry and how they would like to live their lives. With their world in so much turmoil, some of them may not get their happy endings as they were hoping for. I really thought Quinn did a great job with making all of the characters feel singular and different from one another. We get to see their personalities and their ambitions.
The detail in this book was fantastic. As I said, this book is a great treat for historical fiction fans. The Year of Four Emperors was an extremely violent and dangerous year in Roman history and the author really makes it come to life. The cast of characters could easily have become a little bit overwhelming but the author is deftly able to show the readers how all of the pieces and personalities fit together in a way that is thoroughly entertaining.
Overall, come for the history, stay for the characters.