Roman Republic enters its last days. In Anatolia (located in what is now Turkey), King Mithridates sees the Roman civil wars as an opportunity to overthrow Roman rule and have his own nation of Pontus, aided by Greeks, become the dominant power on the Mediterranean (and by extention the entire world).
In this tumultuous time, a young woman, Korinna, seeks to discover the truth about her background and a way forward in her life. Leaving the relative safety of the Temple of Artemis where she has been raised, she attempts to visit a friend in the Temple of Venus--and is accosted by Roman soldiers. This attempted rape bars her from a return to Artemis--but certainly makes Venus unattractive as well. Still, she finds her life manipulated by the powerful priestesses who may wish her well, but who are busy playing the larger game of empire, while colosal forces move around them.
Korinna finds temporary sanctuary when she claims to be the wife of a recently murdered Roman businessman. But setting herself up as a Roman in an era where Mithridates is enflaming passions between the Greek and Anatolian natives and the tens of thousands of Roman occupiers has its own dangers. Another danger is Tiberius--the Roman soldier who nearly raped her and who has developed an obsession for her. Korinna gradually overcomes the revulsion caused by the pain in their intial meeting, but she cannot imagine that the two will be able to stay together.
Author Kristina O'Donnelly continues her monumental series LANDS OF THE MORNING with an adventure set during one of the most fascinating eras in history. Korinna makes a compelling character as she grows from a spoiled girl seeking answers to her questions with no thought for consequences into a mature woman.
O'Donnelly weaves magic through her story--with partially remembered past lives going back to ANDROMAKHE and earlier, with friendly garden spirits, and with Korinna's eternal cat-companion all playing their roles. Still, although KORINNA is part of a series, it can be enjoyed independently, and the entire series can be read in any order.
Fans of historical fiction, of historical romance, and of the late Roman Republic will definitely want to grab KORINNA.