Apia of Rome

Viviana Rivero


Apia Populus is about to lose her mother. In spite of her young age, in accordance with prevailing custom, she is due to be married off to Salvio Sextus, a prosperous but venerable pearl trader.

On Palatine Hill, the most exclusive neighbourhood in Rome, the young woman will need to develop a thick skin to put up with life with someone she doesn't love, meet her obligations as the lady of the house and defend her home from political intrigue. Rome is a hotbed of plots and scandal. Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in the senate, Marcus Antonius and Octavian, the future emperor, vie for power. Crime is rife and Salvio Sextus is afraid for his life.

Apia stoically puts up with the tyranny of her husband and the constant aggression from Senecius, his son. As if that weren't enough, she is forced to submit to humiliating games of dominance inflicted on her by one of the most powerful men in the city. Her only support is her faithful slave Furnilla. Together, they forge an unbreakable alliance and will fight to make their way in a hostile world. However, an encounter with Manius Marcio, an attractive Centurian, turns Apia's life upside down, introducing her to feelings and sensations she's never felt before.

From that moment on she will find herself forced to strike a balance between giving herself over to a passionate love affair and fighting to stay afloat in a patriarchal, misogynistic business world. Narrated across two time periods, this novel is a tale of passion, violence and resilience set against the backdrop of the rise of imperial Rome. With her customary mastery of gripping plots, Viviana Rivero portrays a woman with the strength to face down hegemonic mandates and customs as she struggles to achieve equality, independence and true love.


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