"First-century Rome: a world of depravity, blood, and secrets. The ruthless and enigmatic Emperor Domitian watches over all and fixes his gaze on one humble young woman . Read more...
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Publisher: Tantor Audio$44.99
"First-century Rome: a world of depravity, blood, and secrets. The ruthless and enigmatic Emperor Domitian watches over all and fixes his gaze on one humble young woman . "
Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia. Now she has infuriated her mistress by capturing the attention of Rome s newest and most savage gladiator and though his love brings Thea the first happiness of her life, their affair ends quickly when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.
Remaking herself as a singer for Rome s aristocrats, Thea unwittingly attracts another admirer: the charismatic Emperor of Rome. But the passions of an all-powerful man come with a heavy price, and Thea finds herself fighting for both her soul and her sanity. Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin. But in the end, the life of Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor s mistress."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 112.
- Review Date: 2010-02-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Quinn convincingly conjures the terrifying reign of Emperor Domitian in her solid debut that follows the travails of Thea, a slave girl and mistress to the emperor. While she is tormented by Domitian, she holds her secrets—a gladiator lover, a young son—close. When these facts are brought to Domitian's attention by Thea's jealous rival, Thea takes drastic actions to secure her family. Quinn's command of first-century Rome is matched only by her involvement with her characters; all of them, historical and invented, are compelling and realistic, and she explores their dark sides without crossing into gratuitousness. Readers will finish eager for a sequel, which is a good thing because Quinn has left the door wide open for a follow-up. This should make a splash among devotees of ancient Rome. (Apr.)