The love story of the Emperor Vespasian, who brought peace to Rome after years of strife, and his mistress, the freed slave woman Antonia Caenis, this book recreates Ancient Rome's most turbulent period - the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero, and Vespasian's rise to power. As their forbidden romance blossoms, she is embroiled in political intrigue, while he embarks on a glorious career. Years pass, then Vespasian risks all in the climatic struggle for power - bringing hope for Rome, but a threat to the relationship that has endured so long.
“One of the best of the current writers in this field”
Donna Leon, The Times
“Surely the best historical detective in the business”
Mike Ripley, Daily Telegraph
“The whole thing is splendid. It has everything: mystery, pace wit, fascinating scholarship ... she brings imperial Rome to life.”