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To Be Wolves

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In the stratified world of ancient Rome, there are citizens and slaves, soldiers and senators, priests and priestesses--and Caesar Augustus rules them all. Yet his authority holds only as long as the people believe the gods of Rome support him, particularly the beloved goddess of the home and hearth, Vesta. As chief Vestal Virgin, Pomponia continues to devote her life to pr In the stratified world of ancient Rome, there are citizens and slaves, soldiers and senators, priests and priestesses--and Caesar Augustus rules them all. Yet his authority holds only as long as the people believe the gods of Rome support him, particularly the beloved goddess of the home and hearth, Vesta. As chief Vestal Virgin, Pomponia continues to devote her life to protecting her order and the eternal flame of Vesta. She has risen to a position of esteem in Rome and is a valued member of Caesar's inner circle. But now a contagion ravages the city and tension rises among Rome's inhabitants. While she struggles to manage the Vestal order and maintain the favor of the goddess, Pomponia must now face a malevolent nobleman, Soren, whose machinations against her threaten not just her friendship with Caesar, but everything she loves. In To Be Wolves, Book Two in the Vesta Shadows series, Debra May Macleod takes us back to her richly crafted and meticulously researched vision of ancient Rome, artfully re-created with both historical and all-new characters, from conniving elites to celebrity slaves. An even bolder offering than its predecessor, this gripping sequel to Brides of Rome explores an even darker side of Rome.


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In the stratified world of ancient Rome, there are citizens and slaves, soldiers and senators, priests and priestesses--and Caesar Augustus rules them all. Yet his authority holds only as long as the people believe the gods of Rome support him, particularly the beloved goddess of the home and hearth, Vesta. As chief Vestal Virgin, Pomponia continues to devote her life to pr In the stratified world of ancient Rome, there are citizens and slaves, soldiers and senators, priests and priestesses--and Caesar Augustus rules them all. Yet his authority holds only as long as the people believe the gods of Rome support him, particularly the beloved goddess of the home and hearth, Vesta. As chief Vestal Virgin, Pomponia continues to devote her life to protecting her order and the eternal flame of Vesta. She has risen to a position of esteem in Rome and is a valued member of Caesar's inner circle. But now a contagion ravages the city and tension rises among Rome's inhabitants. While she struggles to manage the Vestal order and maintain the favor of the goddess, Pomponia must now face a malevolent nobleman, Soren, whose machinations against her threaten not just her friendship with Caesar, but everything she loves. In To Be Wolves, Book Two in the Vesta Shadows series, Debra May Macleod takes us back to her richly crafted and meticulously researched vision of ancient Rome, artfully re-created with both historical and all-new characters, from conniving elites to celebrity slaves. An even bolder offering than its predecessor, this gripping sequel to Brides of Rome explores an even darker side of Rome.

54 review for To Be Wolves

  1. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    The beginning of the story feels disjointed. There is a gap of 51 years after the first chapter, and the way the second chapter is presented at some point I was wondering if there was another gap in years. But there is none. It takes time, to make sense of all the names and where the story is going. It is plot-driven, which I struggle with. The fight for power is the main theme. I need good character development to be able to connect with it, and thus with the story. I appreciate stories rich in The beginning of the story feels disjointed. There is a gap of 51 years after the first chapter, and the way the second chapter is presented at some point I was wondering if there was another gap in years. But there is none. It takes time, to make sense of all the names and where the story is going. It is plot-driven, which I struggle with. The fight for power is the main theme. I need good character development to be able to connect with it, and thus with the story. I appreciate stories rich in historical background, but I felt as simplified version would give this story a better flow. In general, the ancient world is harder for me to grasp. So if you are well-read in this time period, then you may feel differently. There are some pretty brutal scenes for example decimation – beaten to death by clubs, so no one deserts Roman army or the sack penalty for patricide - accused is put into a sack with a snake and dog. If you’re interested in an authentic story of ancient times, then I guess it would include also those not so easy to read tactics. This is certainly a richly crafted and well-researched story, giving an authentic feel of the time period. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Muser's Bliss

    Plot:✨ "To Be Wolves" is the second book in the Vestal Shadow series. We get back to world of ancient Rome where Priestess Pomponia continues to fulfill her duties as a Chief Vestal Virgin, but she also faces new challenges as a contagion affects everyone's lives. Over the years, Augustus's authority over Rome strengthens but without an heir he fears he would lose the support of his people. Being close to Augustus, Pomponia advises him and extends her support in times of crisis. Amidst the chaos, Plot:✨ "To Be Wolves" is the second book in the Vestal Shadow series. We get back to world of ancient Rome where Priestess Pomponia continues to fulfill her duties as a Chief Vestal Virgin, but she also faces new challenges as a contagion affects everyone's lives. Over the years, Augustus's authority over Rome strengthens but without an heir he fears he would lose the support of his people. Being close to Augustus, Pomponia advises him and extends her support in times of crisis. Amidst the chaos, a potential rival, Soren enters the picture who will go to any extent to attain his goals and get his revenge.  Review:✨ Just like the first book in the series, the story is fast-paced. The politics of Rome, the constant battle for power and the effort to survive in a brutal world will keep you hooked till the very end. Characters have become darker and their actions have become dangerously unpredictable, which keeps you on the edge of your seat. You can never tell who is about to double-cross whom in the story. In this book, Pomponia has become a total badass and I absolutely loved that. However, she often finds herself in a position to take harsh decisions to protect The Vestal Order and her loved ones, but even the Chief Vestal priestess can't escape the consequences of those decisions. Even though I recently read these books, it feels like I have been a part of this journey for many years. I would recommend you to learn about the Third Servile War before you read this book as there will be some references to this historical event. Keep in mind that there are brutal scenes of physical and mental torture and animal abuse in it. Ratings:✨ 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Wow! This book is amazing! It is intriguing, gripping, haunting, moving, and so much more. Whenever I picked up "To Be Wolves", I was whisked back in time to Ancient Rome, and went on such an emotional journey with this story. This is the second book in Debra May Macleod's "The Vesta Shadow" series, and she truly is such an incredible writer who immerses the reader in the world of the book from the first page to the last. Her writing style is visceral, vivid, enthralling, and meticulously researc Wow! This book is amazing! It is intriguing, gripping, haunting, moving, and so much more. Whenever I picked up "To Be Wolves", I was whisked back in time to Ancient Rome, and went on such an emotional journey with this story. This is the second book in Debra May Macleod's "The Vesta Shadow" series, and she truly is such an incredible writer who immerses the reader in the world of the book from the first page to the last. Her writing style is visceral, vivid, enthralling, and meticulously researched. I could envision each moment, and often forgot that I was at home reading a book. I can only begin to imagine how much thought she put into each moment throughout this novel. Ms. Macleod seamlessly blends history and fiction together, and I had such a difficult time putting this book down. As Octavian, emperor of Rome, lays incredibly ill from a sickness that is spreading throughout Rome, his wife Livia's mind turns to what will happen if her husband dies, and what that will mean for her and her son. High Priestess Pompania continues to protect the eternal flame of Vesta, and tries to keep herself and the other vestal virgins safe. As things around her continue to become more and more dangerous, Pompania must deal with new threats, as well as older ones. I do not want to discuss too much of the plot in this review due to spoilers, so, I will simply say this book is a must-read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Many moments had me holding my breath. Every character throughout this book helps to move the story and plot in one way or another. At times difficult to read due to what occurs, Ms. Macleod's storytelling made me feel like I was right there with the characters witnessing everything happen. From the sights, sounds, and smells, everything is so descriptively told that I truly felt engrossed in the world of the book. Ancient Rome is one of my favorite time periods to read a story set in, as well as one of my favorite time periods to learn about. I truly feel like I learn so much from Ms. Macleod's books, which include being about the Roman gods and goddesses, historical figures, Ancient Roman customs, and many other things too. If you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend this book! It kept me turning the pages into the early hours of the morning to see what would happen next, and I am eagerly awaiting the next book that the author writes in this incredible series. Thank you so much to Blackstone Publishing for the ARC of this book, it is incredible! All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mariana Cevallos

    Historical fiction novels and retellings are always books that provoke opposing opinions and faithful defenders, since we can love or hate them, usually without a middle point This book, for me, is a totally 5 stars. Macleod make us travel in time to the Roman Empire, to the vestals temple and to the life of this powerful and brilliant priestesses. It put a lot of protagonism in these women, all the lies, betrayals, power games and strategies that they must use not only to maintain a social order Historical fiction novels and retellings are always books that provoke opposing opinions and faithful defenders, since we can love or hate them, usually without a middle point This book, for me, is a totally 5 stars. Macleod make us travel in time to the Roman Empire, to the vestals temple and to the life of this powerful and brilliant priestesses. It put a lot of protagonism in these women, all the lies, betrayals, power games and strategies that they must use not only to maintain a social order but also their life and position There are several stories taking place in it, all of them can catch the reader since the very first line of the book and can really make us feel inside the ancient Rome. Captivating, sensual, aggressive book you need to read! Thank you to netgalley for the ARC Also, some warns must be said since it contains: rape, murder, abuses on enslaved people and lots of blood

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rekha O'Sullivan

    Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book - I am leaving this review voluntarily. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but I have to admit that I wasn't sure Pomponia was an interesting enough character to get her through another book. Well, I admit I was wrong. Pomponia evolves in this book and learns to wield her power. The book isn't just about her though - it's about the other Vestal Virgins their role in the politics of that time. The author brings Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book - I am leaving this review voluntarily. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but I have to admit that I wasn't sure Pomponia was an interesting enough character to get her through another book. Well, I admit I was wrong. Pomponia evolves in this book and learns to wield her power. The book isn't just about her though - it's about the other Vestal Virgins their role in the politics of that time. The author brings Ancient Rome to life in a way that few novelists are able to do. I'm looking forward to reading more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sara woolley

    Another amazing read. Can't wait for book 3! Another amazing read. Can't wait for book 3!

  7. 4 out of 5

    nikkia neil

    Thanks to Blackstone and netgalley for this ARC. This series has a great vibe. You really feel the horror, beauty, and history on every page.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Krista C

  9. 4 out of 5

    Drogabezasfaltu

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melinda Furtado

  11. 5 out of 5

    julia dolinska

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ye Olde Lady

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sheldon J. W. Cullison

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Hatem

  15. 5 out of 5

    David K Douglass

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ann Waldron

  17. 5 out of 5

    D.M. Youngblood

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda | amandainthelibrary

  19. 5 out of 5

    marian

  20. 4 out of 5

    Evan

  21. 4 out of 5

    'Carolyn Kinder

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christine Toughill

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn L. Finkbeiner

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rocky Xuan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Dewitte

  26. 4 out of 5

    George Rabatin,Jr.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erica

  28. 5 out of 5

    David E Hartman

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Johnson

  31. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Jessen

  32. 4 out of 5

    Historical Fiction

  33. 4 out of 5

    Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*

  34. 4 out of 5

    Asteropê

  35. 5 out of 5

    Christa Carter

  36. 4 out of 5

    Sonia Melo

  37. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

  38. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Bianchi

  39. 5 out of 5

    Jinx:The:Poet {the Literary Masochist, Ink Ninja & Word Roamer}

  40. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  41. 4 out of 5

    Ishani Singal

  42. 4 out of 5

    Kelley Lusk

  43. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Costello

  44. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Bull Chafin

  45. 5 out of 5

    Addie BookCrazyBlogger

  46. 4 out of 5

    Kat

  47. 4 out of 5

    Jaidee

  48. 4 out of 5

    athomewithmylibrary

  49. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Rose

  50. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Davison

  51. 5 out of 5

    Marina

  52. 4 out of 5

    TheBookMavenJoy

  53. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

  54. 5 out of 5

    Magda Flores

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