Book Review: The Confessions of Young Nero (Nero #1)

The Confessions of Young Nero Book Cover The Confessions of Young Nero
Nero #1
Margaret George
Fiction
Penguin
March 7, 2017
528

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's both tempted and terrified to assume, his determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become, an emperor who became legendary.

my Review

You know that trend of turning a classic villain into an antihero? Think “Wicked”, “Maleficent”, “Suicide Squad”, etc. This novel is kinda like that. Nero an evil dictator? No! He’s a poor misunderstood victim of circumstance. Now, if you can accept this as historical *fiction*, it makes for a nice twist to the well-known story. In her Afterword section, George basically states that Nero has been unjustly maligned by history and this book is her effort to right a wrong. Now…..ok. She’s probably right. Nero in popular culture is an evil tyrant. Many of the stories about him are probably exaggerated or flat out wrong. *BUT* George’s Nero is a damn boy scout. I don’t think he even did something kinda bad (unless, you know, you count adultery) unless he was defending myself, which is hard to count as evil.

But, like I said, if you can get past “nice” Nero and just take this as fiction, it’s a entertaining read.

**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** Professional Reader

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