I took two novels on our cruise last week - Geraldine Brooks' March and Kate Quinn's Mistress of Rome. I've now finished the latter and it was good! It was actually hard not to read it all in one sitting on the ship! I had to pace myself and take in the sights - the ocean, beaches, and islands - instead. Ha!
My Goodreads review:
I had no idea what to expect from Kate Quinn's novel about ancient Rome. After studying Roman history for so long, I generally find historical fiction regarding that time period....lacking. The exception is Steven Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series.
Quinn's style is much different from Saylor's - her writing is more action-focused and dialgue-heavy, whereas Saylor goes above and beyond with his descriptions and tireless research to bring Rome to life. Quinn's characters come to life through her witty dialogue and non-stop action.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the tale of Arius, Thea, Vix, Paulinus, and Ledpida during the reign of Domitian. The Flavian emperor is just as I would have imagined - a bit mad, a bit smart, and balding.
Before finishing the novel, I ordered the next of Quinn's in the series.