The Splendor Before the Dark: A Novel of the Emperor Nero

· Sold by Penguin
2 reviews

About this ebook

Nero’s ascent 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 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.

 “A resplendent novel filled with the gilt and marble of the ancient world.”—C. W. Gortner, author of The Romanov Empress
2 reviews
Third-party review
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This novel, a follow-up of The Confessions of Young Nero, chronicles the last four years of Emperor Nero's life and reign. Primarily told from Nero ...
Third-party review
Nero Augustus, who became emperor in the New York Times best-selling author's The Confessions of Young Nero, now responds to the burning of Rome by rebuilding on an even grander scale. But he's suspected of wanting the glory for himself: who goes up must come down.
Third-party review
This unwieldy tome follows The Confessions of Young Nero to revisit the last years of the emperor’s life. Opening with Rome’s destruction in the great fire of 64 CE, the author remakes Nero (37–68 CE ...

About the author

Margaret George is the New York Times bestselling author of novels of biographical historical fiction, including The Confessions of Young Nero; Elizabeth I; Helen of Troy; Mary, Called Magdalene; The Memoirs of Cleopatra; Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles; and The Autobiography of Henry VIII. She also has coauthored a children's book, Lucille Lost.

Rate this book

Tell us what you think.

Reading information

Smartphones and tablets
Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.
Laptops and computers
You can listen to audiobooks purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.
eReaders and other devices
To read on e-ink devices like Kobo eReaders, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Follow the detailed Help Center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.