Review: Daughters of Rome

TITLE: Daughters of Rome
AUTHOR: Kate Quinn
PUBLICATION: 2011 by Berkley Trade
FORMAT: Paperback


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….


I found this a few months before Borders had its going out of business sale. It was discounted and I did have Mistress of Rome at home, so I thought I’d get another one by this author. I found out it was the prequel to Mistress of Rome and since I had not read that book, this gives me the chance to read this one first and leave anything about Mistress a surprise when I get to that one. I confess I have a weakness for books that take place in ancient Rome. I’m so familiar with the time of Julius Caesar and the rise of Augustus that it’s refreshing to find something in my TBR pile that takes place later as Daughters of Rome does.

I’m not really familiar with the span of history that this novel covers so I was thankful to see the author’s historical notes at the end. She lays out what major events and figures were real and what she added to advance the fiction. I find myself agreeing with some of her decisions for historical license, such as the fate of the centurion who fought to save Piso’s life.

The prose is very readable and doesn’t spend too much time on dwelling on things. The pacing seemed pretty even to me and it kept me reading at a steady pace. I’m not sure what it was about this novel that made me not like it as much as I hoped to. It was still a pleasant read, but I just didn’t feel an overriding attachment to it. You know what I mean? At this time I’m not even sure of the probability that I would read it again.

The four women who serve as our main characters in this novel are different from each other, but I found myself surprised that I felt attached to the Cornelia cousin nicknamed Lollia. I did not figure that I would like her in her quest for other lovers, but her growing attachment to her Gaul slave made her grow on me. And she wasn’t afraid to do what was right as she did her duty for her grandfather. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to that pig of a general she married. Marcella seemed nice enough at first and the character you would think I would root for, but much like the Senator toward the end I didn’t like her much anymore. I think that my favorite of the romances that arise in this novel would be between Cornelia and the lover she takes. At any rate I was pleased to see that all the women changed over the course of the novel, for better or worse.

I didn’t love it, but it was a pleasant enough way to pass the time.



6 thoughts on “Review: Daughters of Rome

  1. Too bad. I was hoping you’d love this one. I’ve wanted to read it ever since I saw that beautiful cover, and then when I saw Stephanie Dray (author of Lily of the Nile, which I loved) enjoyed this book I was even more hopeful. I think I’ll still give it a try, but I’ll adjust my expectations a little. Thanks!

    • I believe I read that the author wished to write it like Sex in the City set in first century Rome, and that might have also been my problem with not liking it as much as I expected. There were times where it sounded too modern, but I wondered if I was just imagining things.

      I can mail you my copy if you wish. I have no great desire to keep it any longer.

  2. I’m a total sucker for books that take place in Ancient Rome (and Greece). Like you, I’m not familiar with this time period but it looks like it would be up my alley!

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