192 AD. One man after another is fighting for an empire, but Julia, daughter of kings, mother of Caesars, and wife of the emperor, is thinking of something far more ambitious: a dynasty. Rome is under the control of the mad emperor Commodus. The Senate has assembled to do away with the tyrant, and the most powerful military governors— Albinus in Brittany, Severus in the Danube, and Nigrus in Syria—are on the verge of a coup d’état. Commodus takes custody of their wives to prevent their rebellion, and Julia, wife of Severus, becomes a hostage.
Suddenly Rome is burning. A fire is devastating the city. Is it a disaster, or an opportunity? Five men undertake a fight to the death for power. They think the game has just begun. But Julia has a head start. She knows that only a woman can forge a dynasty.
2018 Planeta Prize Winner.
The intelligence and firmness of a Syrian who, against all odds, reached the highest rank in the Roman Empire.
A great novel that intertwines passions and violence within a perfect historical context.