A.D. 69. Nero is dead.
The Roman Empire is up for the taking. With bloodshed spilling out of the palace and into the streets of Rome, chaos has become the status quo. The Year of Four Emperors will change everything—especially the lives of two sisters with a very personal stake in the outcome….
Elegant and ambitious, Cornelia embodies the essence of the perfect Roman wife. She lives to one day see her loyal husband as Emperor. Her sister, Marcella, is more withdrawn, content to witness history rather than make it. Even so, Marcella has her share of distinguished suitors, from a cutthroat contender for the throne to a politician’s son who swears that someday he will be Emperor.
But when a bloody coup turns their world upside down, Cornelia and Marcella—along with their cousins, one a collector of husbands and lovers, the other a horse-mad beauty with no interest in romance—must maneuver carefully just to stay alive. As Cornelia tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams, Marcella discovers a hidden talent for influencing the most powerful men in Rome. In the end, though, there can only be one Emperor … and one Empress.
I am a follower of Kate Quinn's blog, if you're not you should be, she is a hoot. In one of her posting a reader was complaining about this book and how it was confusing because the story was about 4 girls all named Cornelia. As a mother of 4 sons I could relate, there were plenty of days where I got confused too (and I didn't name them the same), so starting this book I was a little nervous.
From the opening prologue this book grabbed me and really didn't let go. I was able to tell one Cornelia from the other (nicknames did help alot). Each Cornelia had a distinct personality and lifestyle and I got to each of them quite well. Diana (Cornelia #4) was my favorite, she just knew exactly what she wanted, didn't care what anyone thought, just did her own thing. But in the end she was always there for her family (loved the way she put an end to one wedding ceremony).