Thursday, July 19

Audiobook Review: Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn

Author: Kate Quinn
Narrator: Elizabeth Wiley
Title: Empress of the Seven Hills (The Empress of Rome #3)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: Audiobook
Published: April 2012
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

Powerful, prosperous, and expanding ever farther into the untamed world, the Roman Empire has reached its zenith under the rule of the beloved Emperor Trajan. But neither Trajan nor his reign can last forever...

Brash and headstrong, Vix is a celebrated ex-gladiator returned to Rome to make his fortune. The sinuous, elusive Sabina is a senator's daughter who craves adventure. Sometimes lovers, sometimes enemies, Vix and Sabina are united by their devotion to Trajan. But others are already maneuvering in the shadows. Trajan's ambitious Empress has her own plans for Sabina. And the aristocratic Hadrian-the Empress's ruthless protégé and Vix's mortal enemy-has ambitions he confesses to no one, ambitions rooted in a secret prophecy.

When Trajan falls, the hardened soldier, the enigmatic empress, the adventurous girl, and the scheming politician will all be caught in a deadly whirlwind of desire and death that may seal their fates, and that of the entire Roman Empire...

Audible is certainly helping me flush out my TBR list! I love how I get a free one of my choice every month. It is brilliant. 

I've been wanting to read this, but every library over the years either a line out the door or the book isn't available (I haven't checked this new library in my new town yet). When I saw this was for grabs on Audible I swooped in and picked it up. 

The story follows Vix who is the son of the couple in the first book (oh how I miss them). He is back in Rome and ready to get a career going. Sabina is the daughter of a powerful senator and the niece of the emperor. The two stumble upon each other (childhood friends) and they get a little romance going. Things happen and they fall apart. However, they remain friends over the years. They occasionally become lovers and become enemies. I like to consider them frienemies. They hate but love each other at the same time. 

At the same time, we get some snipbits of the emperor's wife (gods I wanted to smack her silly) and Titus. I loved him! I want more from him in the future. 

Like this author's other work she really knows how to bring the past alive and make these characters blossom. They are always so complex and they feel so real. I really could relate to Sabina in a lot of ways. Especially the love of traveling (*grumbles about needing a passport*) and wanting to consistently learn and be her own woman. I felt bad for her, but she did put a lot of her issues on herself. She should've married Titus............I digress. 

I enjoyed the story for sure. My only real issue was how Vix's POV and how it was written. He was given 1st person while the other characters were given 3rd person. Also, Vix seems to be telling this story to someone so it has forewarnings and little notes. This was indeed annoying. Luckily we had a good narrator that loved using different voices so I always knew who's POV it was. 

The narration was pretty good. It took me a while to really get into how she narrated. She really did add a lot of passion into her storytelling. I grew to appreciate it especially during the battle scenes and high intense scenes. 

In the end, this was good. Not as good as the other two, but still a good read. I enjoyed the characters and I enjoyed the story. There were a couple of things that bugged me, but I am curious to see where the series takes off next. I'll stamp this with 3 stars. 


Sophia Rose said...

I've been wanting to try her series since I love Ancient Rome as the setting. Glad you found it after trying for so long. ;)

Blodeuedd said...

I have been wondering about her books...maybe one day!

Carole Rae said...

Sophia, she is so good at Ancient Rome

B, yess one day!

Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

Oh I have one of hers but haven't tried it yet. Glad to hear the narration settled in for ya.

Carole Rae said...

Try it! I like her stuff