THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO
by Margaret George
On Sale: March 7, 2016
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.
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THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO takes readers through the early life of Rome’s infamous Nero. Through the machinations of his mother, Agrippina the Younger, Nero became emperor at the age of sixteen, the last of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. But the road was a frightening one. The young boy, an intelligent, sensitive and watchful child, had a series of psychological shocks from an early age. His cruel uncle Caligula and his scheming cousin Messalina threatened his life, and his domineering and ambitious mother Agrippina married and poisoned two men en route to securing the throne for her son. Agrippina viewed Nero’s power as an extension of her own will. But once on the throne—like the teenage boy he was—Nero did not want to take orders from his mother. Soon the world was not big enough for the two of them. Thereafter he was remembered as a hedonist and tyrant who “fiddled” while his people burned. But the truth behind the caricature, revealed here, shows Nero to be instead a product of his mother’s relentless ambition, and the incest, violence, luxury, and intrigue that have gripped Rome’s seat of power for generations.
When it comes to historical fiction, nothing beats a great storyteller that can weave together fact with fiction and make it believable. I’ve read so many books that have tried, but have only come across a few that have succeeded in doing this well. Margaret George’s The Confessions of Young Nero is the embodiment of what makes this genre so fantastic.
Ms. George takes historical facts about Nero’s rise to power and his eventful journey and transforms it in to an even more interesting, exciting and intriguing story. It unfolds seamlessly, allowing you, as the reader, to lose yourself in the historical wonder of the young Nero’s life.
From the beginning of the book, you can tell that the author has done her research, and done it with very thorough detail. She has taken a historical figure and brought him to life through her free flowing prose, and draws you in with her attention to each and every detail.
For fans of historical fiction, this book is a wonderful addition to your collection. And if you’re new to the genre, this is a great place to start.
Rating 4.5 Stars
I read and reviewed a paperback copy of the book offered to the blog by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.
Margaret George is the author of the bestselling Autobiography of Henry VIII; Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles; The Memoirs of Cleopatra; and Mary, Called Magdalene.
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