“Two years after Emperor Augustus’s bloody defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, he triumphantly returns to Rome. To his only child, Julia, he brings an unlikely companion—Selene, the daughter of the conquered Egyptian queen and her lover.
Under the watchful eye of Augustus’s wife, Livia, Selene struggles to accept her new home among her parents’ enemies. Bound together by kinship and spilled blood, these three women—Livia, Selene, and Julia—navigate the dangerous world of Rome’s ruling elite, their every move a political strategy, their most intimate decisions in the emperor’s hands.
Always suppressing their own desires for the good of Rome, each must fulfill her role. For astute Livia, this means unwavering fidelity to her all-powerful husband; for sensual Julia, surrender to an arranged marriage and denial of her craving for love and the pleasures of the flesh; for orphaned Selene, choosing between loyalty to her family’s killers and her wish for revenge.
Can they survive Rome’s deadly intrigues, or will they be swept away by the perilous currents of the world’s most powerful empire?”
Comes out Feb 16, 2016
The first thing we're greeted to is a list of the leading players, and I really liked that. It helped me create a image of the players before getting into the story. The story itself was amazing and I liked having multiple people narrating chapters. I've always enjoyed this time period and Phyllis T. Smith was able to create a wonderful world that I picture during this time-period. I felt bad for Cleopatra Selene, she sacrificed so much to live, then again none of the three women in the book seem to end happy. Really well done. 5 out of 5 stars