The Confessions of Young Nero
Blurb (Taken from amazon.com):
“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.”
I enjoy learning about history, so when I heard about this book about the Roman Emperor Nero I was excited to read it. Learning the history was interesting because I didn’t know much about Nero at all, but that’s about where my interest ended. In the afterward Ms. George discusses how most of the characters are taken from real life, along with most of the events. She may have fudged dates a little here and there, and I think she added three minor characters, but other than that, the people and events were based on historical records. It was crazy that he was made emperor when he was only 16. Today 16 year-olds can barely start working at fast food restaurants, let alone run the country! Haha! I have a son who will be 16 this fall. Yeah, nope. He’s definitely not ready to run a country. 🙂 It was sad how Nero and his young bride had to wed so young, and how neither one of them wanted it. I felt bad for her, especially. Learning about Nero racing chariots and playing the cithera was interesting; however, once the story got into Nero’s “intimacy” with many women other than his wife, and then especially the scene with his mother, I was done. This book is definitely not my kind of book. There was way too much “intimacy,” in scenes and discussions of, and there was way too much graphic detail. The incest scene was horrible and made me want to vomit. Seriously. I think I could have liked this book without the profanity and the graphic “intimacy” scenes, but it was not meant to be. I did not like this book at all and cannot recommend it.
Rating: R (Is there anything higher than R?) (There is some profanity and minor violence, but the worst part is the “intimacy.” There are many scenes, most of them are quite detailed and graphic, and he definitely gets around. His own mother is in one of those scenes. Yeah. Gross.)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.