by Margaret George
Published by Berkley Books on March 7th 2017
Add to Goodreads
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.
The Confessions of Young Nero is chock-full of drama, secrets, power-hungry people and manipulation. It’s a story about a boy who grew up to be one of Rome’s most notorious and powerful Emperor. This is a fascinating fictional retelling of Nero’s young life and his rise to power. Before he was known as a compulsive and corrupt Emperor who persecuted the early Christian church.
This book is classified as historical fiction but Margaret George was able to cleverly combined historical details and events about Nero and some really compelling fictional point of view which gave readers a somewhat sympathetic view of Nero.
I especially enjoyed the painstaking details that the author did to show the Roman way of life. Rome in all its glory and debauchery is always fascinating to read about. She went beyond that to explore the attitudes and the lifestyles of that era in history and I feel that she was able to capture that.
As for Nero…he is both a product and a victim of his time. He was groomed by his family especially his mother to become the most powerful man in Rome. He saw his family manipulate and lie just to get and hold on to power. This had a profound effect on him later on in life.
Fans of historical fiction and Roman history would definitely appreciate this book. It’s hefty and quite detailed but it’s worth the read.