11531957I love how Kate Quinn ties all her Roman novels together, but the stories are all so uniquely different.

Now, under normal circumstances Empress of the Seven Hills would normally be classified as a Romeo and Juliet kind of story.  Young, rich, beautiful noble girl falls in love with a lowly peasant boy serving as a guardsman in her father’s household.  Only you don’t really know if she’s in love with him or not at first, especially since she chooses to marry someone else and isn’t forced into the marriage by her father or a nobleman trying to destroy her family.  She’s very cold and clinical, doing things because they’re practical decisions that serve her interests and not for any real desire or passion behind them.

And at first you think he loves her, but then it seems like he hates her, then you see he’s fond of her, it’s just impossible to get a clear reading on their feelings for each other until the very end, and even then I was only truly sure about how he felt.  So it’s a bit confusing since you don’t really know where everyone stands, but as usual with Kate Quinn the story was fascinating and the imagery compelling so overall it was an enjoyable read.

Revisiting I think my favorite historical fiction author: Philipa Gregory next with White Princess.

18144149When Henry Tudor picks up the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth field, he knows he must marry the princess of the enemy house Elizabeth of York to unify a country divided by war for nearly two decades.

But his bride is still in love with his slain enemy, Richard III and her mother and half of England dream of a missing heir, sent into the unknown by the White Queen. While the new monarchy can win power, it cannot win hearts in an England that plots for the triumphant return of the House of York.

Henry’s greatest fear is that somewhere a prince is waiting to invade and reclaim the throne. When a young man who would be king leads his army and invades England, Elizabeth has to choose between the new husband she is coming to love and the boy who claims to be her beloved lost brother: the rose of York come home at last.