The New York Times bestselling and legendary author of Helen of Troy and Elizabeth I now turns her gaze on Emperor Nero, one of the most notorious and misunderstood figures in history.
Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar’s imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman or child.
As a boy, Nero’s royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son’s inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead.
While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina’s machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero’s determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become, an Emperor who became legendary.
With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy’s ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.
Margaret George is my personal hero when it comes to Historical Fiction because it’s obvious from the first chapter that she didn’t use Cliff Notes or Hollywood to come up with her books. The meticulous research she does is obvious as it drips like rain down windows through her words and characters. She creates an honest effort to immortalize and glorify the past while creating an artistic endeavor that will have you wanting to do your own leg work to learn more.
Her characters are so well developed she helps you feel what the people were going through during this time in human history, get a sense for what their world was like, what the food would taste like, the smells that would surround you; in essence you become a part of the past.
It is mostly Nero’s voice that will guide you through his story but others occasionally lend their point of view as they too played an important part during this time. They lend you their eyes to bring a sense of realism to the fiction. His mother and the woman who loved him both add another layer of intrigue and beauty to provide a fuller, more complex tale; what could be more complex than the Roman Empire in its glory days?
Margaret George doesn’t just create historical fiction, she creates a portal to the past, a way to see it as if you were there.
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