Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review of The Three Fates by Kate Quinn


Beloved Emperor Trajan is dead. His brutal successor Hadrian draws ever nearer to Rome. And three desperate souls try to forge new paths in a world turned upside down . . .

THE EMPEROR’S NEMESIS. Battered warrior Vix has always been Hadrian’s bitter enemy, and he vows that will never change, even when he is made Praetorian Guard and Imperial watchdog. But with his family’s lives on the line, Vix faces a bitter choice: kill a friend, or serve a foe?

THE EMPEROR’S RIVAL. Mild, scholarly Titus might once have been favored as Imperial heir, but he never wanted the throne. All he desires is peace in the arms of his new bride—but the jealous Hadrian has other ideas. A horror of bloodshed and violence interrupts Titus’s wedding night, and the man of peace finds a choice at sword-point: honor and death, or betrayal and a cell?

THE EMPEROR’S WIFE. Elegant, elusive Sabina is desperate to escape the bleak future that awaits her as Hadrian’s Empress, and even more desperate to conceal the secret growing in her own body. But when she begs a famous seer for a glimpse into her future, she receives an astonishing vision of the Eternal City under Hadrian’s rule, and the new Empress must choose: her own freedom, or the glory of Rome?

Three former friends find new futures in blood, omen, and prophecy. Three prequel vignettes to Kate Quinn’s long-awaited "Lady of the Eternal City."

What Do I Think About the Story?

My first introduction to Kate Quinn's writing was Empress of the Seven Hills (click the title for my review), the third book in her Empress of Rome series, and since then I have gobbled up both of her novels in her Borgias series, The Serpent and the Pearl and The Lion and the Rose. Ms. Quinn has an exceptional ability to create these incredibly endearing yet flawed characters that you just can't help but love. Now with her fourth book in The Empress of Rome series, Lady of the Eternal City, coming out she has gifted her readers with a vignette of stories that fill the reader in on what three of the main characters have been up to in the year long break between the action in Empress of the Seven Hills and this newest installment. It being a few years since I read Empress of the Seven Hills I was all for getting caught up with Vix, Titus and Sabina and all I can say is, don't start reading The Three Fates without having Lady of the Eternal City ready at hand because you won't want to wait to continue the story!

The Three Fates is only 48 pages long but it packs a powerful punch in that short duration. As backstory, beloved Emperor Trajan is dead and Hadrian, a man without many friends, has become Emperor. He hasn't wasted any time asserting his command and ensuring his enemies are taken care of in the hopes that he won't face any resistance when he rides into Rome as Emperor. Vix, our battle-hardened ex-gladiator with a heart, finds himself in an impossible position: either he can become Hadrian's attack dog and do his bidding in eliminating those that Hadrian sees as his enemy, including Vix's best friend, Titus, or he can refuse the Emperor and face his wrath. While normally our loyal and proud Vix would spit in Hadrian's face before doing what he says, the possibility of his family being harmed if he refuses Hadrian looms large over his decision.  He is left with an impossible choice, one he continues to try and find a way out of.

Meanwhile, studious and humble Titus is enraptured by his new bride, Faustina, sister of Titus's friend and new Empress, Sabina. As they usher the last of their celebratory guests out of their home and prepare to retire to their marriage bed, Vix shows up and informs Titus he must come with him as a prisoner of Hadrian's. Titus, a man who never wanted to be Emperor but who's blood alone makes him eligible, must decide if he should give in to what seems an inevitable death at the hands of his best friend or refuse to go down without a fight.

While all of this is going on, wily, adventurous Sabina finds herself unexpectedly, and unhappily, married to a man who has not only become Emperor but a cold and blood thirsty madman. In the hopes of finding a way out of this marriage she enlists the advise of a well known soothsayer. But what he has to tell her is far from what she wants to hear: Hadrian will never divorce her or allow her to leave him and she alone can influence him to determine if he will be a tyrannical or good Emperor. Her worse nightmare - living a long life next to a man she has come to hate - seems inevitable. On top of all of that, the baby growing within her, which isn't Hadrian's, will have to remain hidden because if it doesn't Hadrian will have it killed. What is Sabina to do?

Now doesn't that just whet your appetite? I'm off to begin reading Lady of the Eternal City right now and will have my review post on March 23rd, so be sure to come back then to see what I thought. I am jittery with anticipation....don't you just love when a book does that to you? If you have read any of the other books in this series or are as big a fan of Kate Quinn as I am this is a definite must read!

What Do I Think About the Cover?

I don't really have any strong opinions on it. It is very pretty however, in this case, it isn't the cover that draws me to the story but the story itself. I would have read this one regardless of what the cover looked like!

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

You can pick up your own eBook copy of The Three Fates for free on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes or Kobo!

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