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Publishing Date: 02/16/16
Before I begin my review I have to admit to a fascination with this period in history from the time I was a small child. This started with this book:
I found myself absolutely in the thrall of this book from the moment I opened it up. The character descriptions were unbelievably vivid. The description is a tiny bit misleading where it talks about Cleopatra Selene being a companion to Julia (Augustus Caesar’s Daughter), while they do live in the same household they didn’t really seem to be what I would call companions either. This is one of those books that jumps from one characters point of view to another characters point of view. This is usually a book killer for me, because I will pick a character I like and only read their parts. I didn’t have that problem with this book since I formed an emotional attachment to all of the characters. My emotional attachment evolved as the characters moved from childhood to adulthood and as they interacted with each other, which I think is a hallmark of a truly talented writer. Overall, I loved this book and I think I will be adding I am Livia to my list of books to read in the future.
Two years after Emperor Augustus’s bloody defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, he triumphantly returns to Rome. To his only child, Julia, he brings an unlikely companion—Selene, the daughter of the conquered Egyptian queen and her lover.
Under the watchful eye of Augustus’s wife, Livia, Selene struggles to accept her new home among her parents’ enemies. Bound together by kinship and spilled blood, these three women—Livia, Selene, and Julia—navigate the dangerous world of Rome’s ruling elite, their every move a political strategy, their most intimate decisions in the emperor’s hands.
Always suppressing their own desires for the good of Rome, each must fulfill her role. For astute Livia, this means unwavering fidelity to her all-powerful husband; for sensual Julia, surrender to an arranged marriage and denial of her craving for love and the pleasures of the flesh; for orphaned Selene, choosing between loyalty to her family’s killers and her wish for revenge.
Can they survive Rome’s deadly intrigues, or will they be swept away by the perilous currents of the world’s most powerful empire?