Thursday, October 24, 2019

Splendor Before the Dark

I’m delighted today to share with you a recently released paperback by author Margaret George, THE SPLENDOR BEFORE THE DARK, a historical epic starring the Roman Emperor Nero as he faces the forces of nature to save the city of Rome.

THE SPLENDOR BEFORE THE DARK picks up where Margaret’s last novel, The Confessions of Young Nero, left off, with the naïve teenager becoming the Emperor of ancient Rome and securing his power. Now in his tenth year on the throne, during the ill-fated, final four years of his short life, Nero faces the biggest challenge to his authority yet: The Great Fire of Rome.

Known for his lavish parties, creative performances, and passion for high-stakes athletic competition, Nero has never been a typical emperor. Breaking the shroud of secrecy that normally surrounds the position, Nero is practically a Roman rock star—he performs his own songs in front of massive crowds, trains and competes athletically, and cannot resist the beautiful and powerful women that surround him. But when Rome is engulfed in the Great Fire, Nero must find a way to restore the artistic and cultural splendor of the city he loves. Challenged by his enemies, and unsure if he can even trust his friends, Nero attempts to outrun his own reputation and escape the web of betrayals that is the Roman court.

With the beautiful and cunning Poppaea at his side, Nero 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 has ever known.

For those who aren’t familiar with the author here is a bit of background on her.

Author Margaret George
Margaret George specializes in epic fictional biographies of historical figures, taking pains to make them as factually accurate as possible without compromising the drama. Her THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HENRY VIII had its 30th anniversary this past September and continues to be popular. ABC-TV based its 1999 Emmy-nominated “Cleopatra” miniseries on her THE MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA. All of her books have been bestsellers, with twenty-one foreign translations.

Margaret’s father was in the Foreign Service and so she lived overseas for her early life, in such different places as tropical Taiwan, desert Israel, and cold war Berlin, all of which were great training for a novelist to be. She started writing ‘books’ about the same time as she could write at all, mainly for her own entertainment. It was a diversion she never outgrew. Her published works are: THE AUTOBIOGAPHY OF HENRY VIII, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTLAND AND THE ISLES, THE MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA, MARY CALLED MAGDALENE, HELEN OF TROY, ELIZABETH I, and an illustrated children’s book, LUCILLE LOST.

Margaret lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and Washington DC, and has a sextagenarian tortoise as a pet.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have you ever thought of Nero as a rock star?


  1. Nero as a rock star is a totally new concept to me - but the book does indeed sound intriguing. Thank you to you and to Margaret.

  2. I do like historical novels, Mason, especially if they have interesting information as well as the plot and characters. It sounds as though this one covers it all, which is great. Thanks for sharing.


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