Author: Margaret George
Publish Date: November 6, 2018 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "With the beautiful and cunning Poppaea at his side, Nero Augustus commands the Roman empire, ushering in an unprecedented era of artistic and cultural splendor. Although he has yet to produce an heir, his power is unquestioned.
But in the tenth year of his reign, a terrifying prophecy comes to pass and a fire engulfs Rome, reducing entire swaths of the city to rubble. Rumors of Nero's complicity in the blaze start to sow unrest among the populace--and the politicians...
For better or worse, Nero knows that his fate is now tied to Rome's--and he vows to rebuild it as a city that will stun the world. But there are those who find his rampant quest for glory dangerous. Throughout the empire, false friends and spies conspire against him, not understanding what drives him to undertake the impossible.
Nero will either survive and be the first in his family to escape the web of betrayals that is the Roman court, or be ensnared and remembered as the last radiance of the greatest dynasty the world had ever known."
My Two Cents:
"The Splendor Before the Dark" is the second book in Margaret George's duology about Roman Emperor Nero. It also is one of my most eagerly anticipated releases for 2018. I loved the first book and couldn't wait to dive into this one. It was well worth the wait and as this book shows, there is a good reason that Nero's name is still so well known out of all of the other Roman emperors.
Although this book can definitely work as a standalone, I suggest you go back and read "The Confessions of Young Nero." It is a great book and why would you deprive yourself of such a good read? It will allow you to greater appreciate the heights Nero reaches in "The Splendor Before the Dark."
This book covers the last four years in Nero's life. Although he has already been in power for awhile, this book provides a few opportunities for Nero to show his mettle to his people. One of those that I found most interesting is the Great Fire of Rome. Rome is basically destroyed and it is up to Nero to rebuild. He comes up with a bold plan to remake Rome to an even greater city than it was before. I really liked seeing his new plans and how he sells everyone around him on his huge plans, which make a mark for centuries to come.
Margaret George is on my must read list always. In her books, you always know that she is going to give you great characters and rich detail to lend to fantastic world building. This book is no different and makes for a satisfying conclusion for the duology. I can't wait to read what she comes up with next!