Another five star book from Kate Quinn. Here is an author who has never failed to disappoint me. I have three more books to get through so fingers crossed!
Ancient Rome isn't really my thing. I am one of the few people in the world who saw the movie Gladiator and didn't like it. I have no idea why. I just didn't like it. My readings in historical fiction tend to bring me more to the British side of the channel. Things like the British Wars of the Roses, the Tudor dynasty, and the Italian Renaissance are more my thing. Kate Quinn has me seriously reconsidering this whole Ancient Rome time period.
One of the most beautiful passages I have ever read in a book (and I've read my fair share of books) was on page 82 when Thea is confessing her love for Arius. I am not a sap by any means but, my goodness. I was genuinely moved. I think it takes incredible skill for a writer to describe romance without pages and pages of overly passionate sex (which is something totally different in my opinion). As mentioned in a previous reviews, I love that Quinn treats her readers likes adults and assumes we all understand how sex works. This book was a little more explicit than the previous books I had read but I think it was important in giving the reader an understanding of who Emperor Domitian really was. As mentioned before, I don't know a lot about Ancient Rome, but their Emperors seem to have issues.
I have not hated a fictional character as much as I hated Lepida Pollia since Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I spent all that time reading Harry Potter and [ never once did Umbridge really get what she deserved!
While I did give this book five stars, I do have one problem. It's the same problem I had with the Borgia novels. The ending. Everything was all wrapped up in a neat little bow. I know that seems like an odd thing to say but something when you like a book as much as I liked this one, you kind of hope for something more, something unexpected at the end. Not to say this book didn't have it's unexpected moments, but I really just didn't feel the end was one of them. It let me down a little but not enough to give this book less than five stars.