Brides of Rome: A Novel of the Vestal Virgins
Brides of Rome
Book I in The Vesta Shadows Series
Their world was one of power and privilege. It was a world of war, secrets and sacred duty.
It was the world of ancient Rome. And the esteemed Vestal Virgins – priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the home and hearth – protected the Eternal Flame that protected the Eternal City.
Dedicated to a thirty-year vow of chaste service, Priestess Pomponia finds herself swept up in the intrigue, violence and bedroom politics of Rome’s elite: Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian and his maneuvering wife Livia, all the while guarding the secret affection she has in her heart.
But when a charge of incestum – a broken vow of chastity – is made against the Vestal order, the ultimate punishment looms: death, by being buried alive in the Evil Field.
In Brides of Rome, Debra May Macleod has re-created the world of ancient Rome with all its brutality and brilliance, all its rich history and even richer legend. A true page-turner that is as smart as it is compelling, this must-read novel brings the Vestal order to life like never before.
“The world of the Vestal Virgins, the revered priestess sorority of ancient Rome, is at the center of Brides of Rome, the first volume in Debra May Macleod’s The Vesta Shadows series, in which veteran thirty-year Vestal Pomponia has an up-close vantage point for the most tumultuous political upheavals in the city’s history. The wars of Marius, Sulla, and Julius Caesar, the power-struggles of the triumvirs, the battles between political climber Octavian and his military rivals Antony and Cleopatra.
“While Pomponia is navigating these treacherous currents, Macleod gives readers a very rich picture of what the day-to-day life of the Vestal Virgins was like, the institutional life of the order, with older priestesses recalling sisters and scandals long since gone. Pomponia herself harbors secrets that threaten to become scandals as the book’s lean, fast-paced plot advances.
“This is very intelligent and well-researched Roman historical fiction, populated with very strong female lead characters (including a scene-stealing rendition of Livia, the strong-willed wife of Octavian). A fine start to a promising series.”
Review from The Historical Novel Society