Format Hardcover
Publication Date 05/28/24
ISBN 9781639366545
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 416

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A Novel

Conn Iggulden

From this New York Times bestselling author, the first novel in a new trilogy that finds Empress Agrippina and her young son, Nero, fending off ambitious rivals while shaping their own destiny—if Nero is to become the most feared and notorious emperor of them all.

The story begins with a hand curled around another man’s throat.

This is Roman justice: Emperor Tiberius first dispatches a traitor—a friend he once trusted with the city—then the man's whole family and all of his friends. It is as if he never existed.

Into this fevered forum, a child is born. His mother is Agrippina, granddaughter of Emperor Augustus. But their imperial blood is neither balm nor protection. Rather, it is a liability. Blood is easily spilled or poisoned. So swiftly corrupted.

As the aging, paranoid Tiberius becomes blind to the ignoble end awaiting him, Agrippina sees the future. Her once-exiled brother Caligula is next in succession, which brings her another step closer to the heart of the empire—to power, ambition, and danger.

Every day she will face soldiers, senators, rivals, silver-tongued pretenders, each vying for position. One mistake risks exile, incarceration, execution. Or, worst of all, perhaps the loss of her infant son.

Because Agrippina knows that, even in your darkest moments, opportunity rises. Her son is everything. She can make this boy, shape him into Rome itself—the man before whom all must kneel. But first, Agrippina and Nero must survive . . .

Conn Iggulden is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of the most popular historical novelists working today. His The Dangerous Book for Boys was an iconic success, and he has written three bestselling historical series, including his "Wars of the Roses" saga. Conn lives in England.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“The story illustrates the era’s political infighting, depravity, and bloody viciousness using full-color imagery and eloquent language that sings with vigor. Iggulden’s tale zips along with great energy.” Booklist
"A sweeping novel of ancient Rome and the early days of Nero. Sit back and enjoy—or cringe at—this bloody tale that is littered with the bodies of the powerful, the ambitious, and the innocent. Splendid storytelling about ambition, cruelty, and power.” Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Conn Iggulden:

“Conn Iggulden is a grand storyteller.” USA Today
"Devotees of the ancient world will relish this exciting historical novel." Booklist
"A well-researched tale of heroism and hardship, honor and betrayal in which anyone's life can disappear with a filth-tipped arrow or the slash of a kopis. Exciting fare, a yarn well-spun." Kirkus Reviews
"A rousing retelling of a singular event, as seen through the eyes of three leaders on a momentous trek, this latest historical novel by Iggulden will be of interest to both young and old readers of military and ancient history." Library Journal
"Having already taken on Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, and the War of the Roses, Iggulden successfully dramatizes the life of Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury and confidant of King Aethelstan, the grandson of Alfred the Great. Immerses the reader." Publishers Weekly
"Superbly plotted and paced. An absolutely cracking story. The pace is nail-biting and the set dressing magnificent. Through his eyes we watch the story of the making of England." The Times (London)
"A gripping read from the master historical storyteller. This swords-and-sandals epic brings the clash of empires between Greece and Persia to life.” The Daily Express
"Pacy and propulsive, cracking with energy, violence and stirring speeches, Iggulden chronicles power struggles, political machinations, and the bloodthirsty ravages of up-close combat.” The Daily Mail