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**