Review: The Splendor before the Dark by Margaret George
Title: The Splendor before the Dark
Series: Nero #2
Author: Margaret George
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Synopsis from Goodreads: Ascending to the throne was only the beginning... Now Margaret George, the author of The Confessions of Young Nero, weaves a web of politics and passion, as ancient Rome's most infamous emperor cements his place in history. 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 Review: This stunning tale of the Emperor Nero concludes Margaret Georges Duology about the Emperors life and places us firmly in the realm of ancient Rome. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or not you will be sucked into this epic tale. The writing pulls you in, the setting keeps you firmly in the books grasp and the characters will compel you to keep reading. They are both heroic and at the same time flawed in the way that all humans are, keeping the authenticity of the story intact. The story begins with the Great Fire of Rome and we find ourselves thrust right into the action. Nero himself was blamed for the fire and that had long reaching consequences for his reign. What really brought this book to life is George’s portrayal of Nero. She really brings him to life in a way that you can really see the man that he might have been. I loved this book and I definitely recommend it. Though I would suggest reading the first book in the duology before this one.
*I received this book Berkley Publishing from in exchange for an honest review*