Cover of Brides of Rome

Brides of Rome

When passion is punishable by death, can one priestess keep her emotions concealed and help steer the course of history?

Ancient Rome is a world of power and privilege, secrets and sacred duty. The esteemed priestesses of Vesta – the Vestal Virgins – are charged with ensuring the Eternal Flame in their temple never goes out. While it burns, Rome cannot fall. They are known as the Brides of Rome.

Dedicated to a thirty-year vow of chaste service, Priestess Pomponia finds herself swept up in the intrigue, violence, wars and bedroom politics of Rome’s elite – Julius Caesar, Marc Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian and 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.

Debra May Macleod skilfully recreates 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. Perfect for fans of Kate Quinn and Margaret George.

Praise for Brides of Rome

'A fascinating look inside the lives of the enigmatic Vestal Virgins of Rome, who tended the sacred flame of Vesta in her temple in the Forum. But they were at the heart of Roman politics as well, true 'brides of Rome' who had a ringside seat in events of Roman history, and had a hand in them as well. Macleod lets us enter their forbidden and mysterious lives in a page-turning story of the birth of the Roman empire'
Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of The Confessions of Young Nero

'In an age of murderous warlords and ruthless politicians (often indistinguishable from one another) the seemingly benign Vestals could hold the balance of power. Debra May Macleod has written a fascinating mystery set within the relentlessly masculine world of Roman power politics, but seen through the lens of a unique, all-female institution. The Vestals did not just tend Rome's sacred flame. They guarded Rome's secrets'
John Maddox Roberts, author of the Edgar-nominated SPQR Roman Mystery series

'Riveting... This smart repartee captivates in every way'
Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Warsaw Protocol

'Macleod gives readers a very rich picture of what the day-to-day life of the Vestal Virgins was like. This is very intelligent and well-researched Roman historical fiction, populated with very strong female lead characters (including a scene-stealing rendition of Livia). A fine start to a promising series' Historical Novel Society

The Vesta Shadows series

The Vesta Shadows trilogy spans decades, from 45 BCE to 14 CE. It follows the life of the Vestal priestess Pomponia Occia, who is inspired by the real Vestal Occia who lived during this time, serving in the Temple of Vesta for more than fifty years.

Set during the tumultuous years that saw the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire under Augustus - and beyond - it dramatises some of the major historical events that occurred during her lifetime while simultaneously bringing ancient Rome to life with fast-paced, engrossing and visceral storylines played out by a striking cast of characters.

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ISBN: 9781800326750

Publication Date:


ISBN: 9781800326767

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