Reviewed by Erin McKibbin

In the 7th century, Rome experienced a year of turmoil when for the first time ever, the people rose up and put a series of four emperors on the throne. Never before had this glorious empire been rocked to its very foundation. Social and political status had become almost meaningless. The rules of succession had been stripped away. The temples of the Gods ceased to hold any sway. And, for the four Cornelii girls, this year of chaos would change their lives forever.

Cornelia, known as Cornelia Prima, was the eldest of the four young women born to the Cornelli clan. Pedantic and sure, she readily fulfilled her role as wife to Emperor Galba’s heir. That is, until the world turned upside down, leaving her a childless widow whose only safety is in the hands of a lowly Centurion.

Cornelia Secunda, also known as Marcella, became obsessed with chronicling the lives of the Caesars. That is, until her life became intertwined with those in the palace. Starting with Nero, Marcella started to realize that she had the power of influence over those who sat on the throne. Drunk with that power, Cornelia Secunda gleefully watches Rome burn, unknown that fate had a much worse plan for her.

The third Cornelia, also known as Lollia, lives a life of hedonism as her grandfather marries her to one patrician after another. One day she purchases a slave that “she must have” who teaches her about love and introduces her to a faith and a path that can ease her troubled soul.

Horses and the races are all that the breathtakingly beautiful Cornelia Quarta cares about. Nicknamed for the goddess Diana because of her beauty, she is oblivious to potential suitors, her rank, or politics. Her obsession leads her down a strange path with a Welsh prince and gives her the tools she needs to save her family from a Rome that is collapsing from within.

In the Daughters of Rome, Kate Quinn elegantly captures the Ancient Roman world and the collective undercurrent of panic felt by the populace during the “Year of Four Emperors.” Her characters are alluring and her understanding of Ancient Rome insightful.

Rating: 4/5

Make sure to also check out Kate Quinn’s guest post!

Erin fell in love with the written word as a small child and subsequently spent most of her life happily devouring literature. She works as a freelance news, marketing, and technical writer as well as a full-time researcher/investigator in the sign industry. Erin lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio enjoying the beauty of life with her children and grandchildren.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Berkley Trade. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.