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12910213,397 (4.06)12
From six bestselling authors, including New York Times bestseller Kate Quinn, comes a vividly imagined anthology of stories following the lives of those in ancient Pompeii on the fateful day Mount Vesuvius erupts. Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain's wrath . . . and these are their stories: A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii's flourishing streets. An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire. An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished. A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue. A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls. A priestess and a prostitute seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried. Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each other's paths during Pompeii's fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?… (more)
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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Ooooh! This book was such a treat! I just loved, loved, loved it! With an anthology with different authors (most of whom I haven't read before), it can be a mystery whether every story is quality and the work as a whole is cohesive. However, I was pleasantly surprised, and I have some new authors that I MUST check out.

My favorite stories were the heiress by Sophie Perinot, the senator by Kate Quinn, and the ex-soldier by Ben Kane. These stories were so poignant to me. I've read everything by Quinn and just love her. I was surprised to see familiar characters in her story, but I got to see a side of them I haven't before. It was like meeting new friends. These characters transformed as the catastrophe stripped them down to their core values, and I loved watching these people dig deep to find what was most important to them.

Middle of the road stories included the youth at the beginning and the priestess and whore at the end. There was some growth for these characters, but I don't feel like the authors had enough time to develop them. They felt pretty two dimensional, and they didn't grow quite as much as the characters in my favorite stories. It felt more like the authors were trying to tell me they grew rather than the characters showing me that.

My least favorite story was the mother by E. Knight. Let me preface by saying I still enjoyed this story. It's sad and futile, these characters, but it didn't pull me in quite like the others. Mostly, I was frustrated with the narrators, as they dealt with the fact that they'd failed as caretakers. It's a hard perspective to write, and it showed.

Overall, fantastic collection! Can't wait to read the other two books in the series! ( )
  readerbug2 | Nov 16, 2023 |
I have always been fascinated with Pompeii. I remember being so excited, at just 15 years old, when the mini-series, The Last Days of Pompeii aired on television (based on the novel by Edward Bulwer-Lytton). My fascination did not wan with age, as I learned more by reading books and watching countless documentaries on one of the greatest historical tragedies. When I was approached with reviewing this book, I jumped at the chance.

This novel has a unique perspective because it is six interconnected stories told by six different authors. Each story takes place on the day Mount Vesuvius erupted. To say that the stories are interesting and exciting is to say the absolute least. These authors are the cream of the crop in historical fiction and their talent truly shines here, with historical accuracy and authenticity.

No punches are pulled, as Pompeii is depicted as it truly was, as proven by historical archaeology and research. This famous city was not only a bastion of Roman civilization, but it also had a dark side of greed and debauchery. Its great tragedy has allowed us to see what it was really like from the graffiti kept preserved by the very ash that destroyed it. The authors here have chosen not to sugarcoat things and that decision makes for an outstandingly original work of historical fiction.

I highly recommend this book not only for lovers of historical fiction, but for anyone who appreciates a great story filled with memorable characters and excitement.
( )
  TheTrueBookAddict | Mar 23, 2020 |
This book was very well done. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. The story of that dark day in Pompeii told by those who lived through it - or died in it. Each of 6 authors tells a different story but the lives they portray are all linked together in some way. It was brilliant! ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
An anthology of six linked short stories by different authors about the destruction of Pompeii.

None of the stories was bad but none of them really got me going either. I finished with a shrug rather than weeping, which I suspect was what the authors were hoping for. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Feb 8, 2016 |
Enthralling and very well written novel about Pompeii and how different inhabitants dealt with the earthquakes and volcano eruption. Each section told the stories of different folks and their fates. Some of them escaped the disaster and some were unlucky enough to perish in the black river of lava. The authors used different archaeological artifacts and constructed stories about who people might have been and what might have happened. The characters appeared in more than one story; the authors posited a family and slaves, or others knew each other in some way. Some were personal friends. The theme was not the same as Schnitzler's La Ronde, but like his novella, these stories seemed to me a cycle with one character [a prostitute] appearing in the first story then the last episode of the novel ending with her as one of the characters. The figures were all well-drawn and I cared about them. Moving and poignant. Amazing that it was put together so seamlessly from the pens of multiple authors! ( )
1 vote janerawoof | May 11, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Knight, E.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dray, Stephaniemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kane, Benmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Perinot, Sophiemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Quinn, Katemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Shecter, Vicky Alvearmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Moran, MichelleIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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The depth of darkness to which you can descend and still live is an exact measure of the height to which you can aspire to reach. (Pliny the Elder)
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I discreetly tightened my loincloth as I approached Pompeii's Samo Gate.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From six bestselling authors, including New York Times bestseller Kate Quinn, comes a vividly imagined anthology of stories following the lives of those in ancient Pompeii on the fateful day Mount Vesuvius erupts. Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain's wrath . . . and these are their stories: A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii's flourishing streets. An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire. An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished. A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue. A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls. A priestess and a prostitute seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried. Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each other's paths during Pompeii's fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?

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