Monday, March 23, 2015

Lady of the Eternal City Blog Tour: Review

Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Berkley Trade
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Series: Empress of Rome Series, Book Four
Genre: Historical Fiction


National bestselling author Kate Quinn returns with the long-awaited fourth volume in the Empress of Rome series, an unforgettable new tale of the politics, power, and passion that defined ancient Rome.

Elegant, secretive Sabina may be Empress of Rome, but she still stands poised on a knife’s edge. She must keep the peace between two deadly enemies: her husband Hadrian, Rome’s brilliant and sinister Emperor; and battered warrior Vix, who is her first love. But Sabina is guardian of a deadly secret:
Vix’s beautiful son Antinous has become the Emperor’s latest obsession.

Empress and Emperor, father and son will spin in a deadly dance of passion, betrayal, conspiracy, and war. As tragedy sends Hadrian spiraling into madness, Vix and Sabina form a last desperate pact to save the Empire. But ultimately, the fate of Rome lies with an untried girl, a spirited redhead who may just be the next Lady of the Eternal City…

What Do I Think About the Story?

This being the fourth full length novel of Kate Quinn's I've read I have come to understand her to be a master of emotions. Every character she writes is complicated and flawed but, if not all necessarily relatable, at the very least understandable. I'm not really sure how she does it, but she takes these long dead people from history and breathes new life into them, making them so real and fleshed out that you can nearly see them standing before you, challenging or joyful, vengeful or passionate. Very few other novelists have brought Roman history so completely to life for me as Ms. Quinn has done.

While I won't say that a new reader would be lost starting this series with Lady of the Eternal City I would recommend reading the previous novels just for sheer enjoyment. This is the fourth novel in the Empress of Rome series and I myself started the series with the third book, Empress of the Seven Hills, which gave me important background information regarding the relationships between some of this novel's main characters that just deepened my love for them (or dislike, depending on the character). However, if you just happened to pick up this novel without reading the previous ones the author does a wonderful job of streamlining the narrative to bring new readers up to speed or to remind previous reader what has previously occurred.

I don't want to give too much away regarding the plot of the novel, but let me just say much of the novel showed Emperor Hadrian (one of those characters I mentioned that I disliked, at least until the end) battling his own inner demons and darkness while also making the lives of many of our other characters miserable. I was amazed to see so many strong characters, such as Vix and Sabina, unable to break away from his hypocrisy and vindictiveness, or for Hadrian to continue to stand in the way of others seeking true love even when he had found his own. The perfect ending brought resolution to much of this but I still found myself yelling at the characters "screw him, just do what you want!". Being that this would most likely have had these characters losing their heads I'm glad they didn't listen!

The other storyline that had me unable to stop reading was the mystery surrounding one of the main character's deaths and the search, and discovery, of what really happened. I won't say any more about that, but trust me when I say it will be nearly impossible to stop reading once you have begun the last 100 pages of the continues at breakneck speed and will leave you breathless and satisfied.

All of the characters are wonderful (or wonderfully horrific) in their own way but my absolute favorite was Antinous, the adopted son of Vix and lover of Emperor Hadrian. His is a pure and loving heart with a  beauty to match and it was easy to see how so many characters could love him even given his placement in the story. He was the only character to actually bring me to tears.

There really isn't much to say against this novel, it seems to have everything a reader of historical fiction would want: witty, complicated characters that can both infuriate you and pull mercilessly at your heart; storylines that keep you engaged and interested; a need to know more about the true history that even the delightful and informative historical note cannot fully satisfy. If you enjoy historical fiction, especially set in Ancient Rome, you need to read this book as well as the whole series.


What Do I Think About the Cover?

I think it's beautiful! The rich reds and golds make me think of luxury and the colorful sky makes me think of new dawns and new beginnings. While I know a lot of people don't like the ubiquitous "woman staring off into the distance" covers I have always liked them, and this one I believe represents Annia, another of my favorite characters.

My Rating:4.5/5.0

Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of Lady of the Eternal City in exchange for an honest review. Be sure to continue below for more information about the author, the book and the rest of the blog tour!

Praise for Lady of the Eternal City

 “Quinn specializes in bringing the splendor of Britannia and Rome to readers. The tangled lives of her three-dimensional characters represent the entanglements of the Empire. She cleverly pulls readers into the complex relationships, and even more complicated history, while bouncing back and forth between viewpoints. This is a feast for historical readers.” – Romantic Times Book Reviews

Buy the Book


Titles in the Empress of Rome Series

Book One: Mistress of Rome
Book Two: Daughters of Rome
Book Three: Empress of the Seven Hills
Book Four: Lady of the Eternal City

Praise for the Empress of Rome Series

“Gorgeously wrought.”— C. W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow

“Deeply passionate.”—Kate Furnivall, author of Shadows on the Nile

“[An] epic, sexy romp.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the Author

Kate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance detailing the early
years of the infamous Borgia clan. All have been translated into multiple languages.

Kate has succumbed to the blogging bug, and keeps a blog filled with trivia, pet peeves, and
interesting facts about historical fiction. She and her husband now live in Maryland with a small black dog named Caesar, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.

For more information visit Kate Quinn’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Lady of the Eternal City Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 2

Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, March 3

Spotlight at Historical Readings and Reviews

Wednesday, March 4

Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, March 5

Review at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, March 6

Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes

Monday, March 9

Review at The Mad Reviewer

Wednesday, March 11

Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, March 12

Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Sunday, March 15

Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, March 16

Review at Just One More Chapter
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, March 17

Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, March 18

Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Monday, March 23

Review at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, March 25

Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Thursday, March 26

Review at Book Nerd

Friday, March 27

Review at Unshelfish
Review at Genre Queen
Review at Let Them Read Books
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession



  1. Thank you for a lovely review - so glad you enjoyed LEC!

    1. I loved it and thank you SO MUCH for stopping by!!!