THE EMPEROR’S ASSASSIN
BY AUTUMN BARDOT
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 437 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
History paints her as the first female serial killer…
Locusta is the daughter of a winemaker in the Roman province of Gaul. She enjoys the indulged childhood of the elite, her concerns only about the day’s amusements. She rides gentle ponies, attends parties, reads Ovid, and learns the herbal arts from her servant. But the day after meeting her betrothed, Locusta discovers the consequences of possessing such dangerous knowledge.
Ordered to leave her pastoral life, Locusta is thrust into a world of intrigue, scandal, and murder—where treason lurks behind every corner and defying an emperor means death. Locusta’s life changes forever when a young Emperor Nero requires her herbal expertise. And commands her to be his personal poisoner. Caught in an imperial web, Locusta must embrace her profession or die.
Or is there another way out?
History paints her as the first female serial killer. Or is she yet another maligned woman in history?
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Locusta of Gaul grew up in a sprawling vineyard outside of Ancient Rome. When she was of age, her father sent up an advantageous match for her to an elderly and harsh man. Locusta learns of her betrothed's true nature and is horrified. Pricilla, Locusta's servant uses her knowledge of herbs to make sure Locusta will not be bothered by him again. Locusta is intrigued by Pricilla knowledge of herbs and becomes a student of plants, both helpful and deadly. Locusta's knowledge soon surpasses Pricilla's and her herbs help many around her, including a servant of a handsome Centurion, Marcus. Locusta is soon sent to Rome to petition for a tax extension as well as find her match. The longer Locusta stays in Rome, her reputation for her knowledge of healing and pleasure grows. Soon, her skills travel to Emperor Nero's ears and Locusta is asked to use her knowledge for murder. Locusta's fate is now Nero's to toy with.
Locusta of Gaul has been painted by history as the world's first female serial killer. However, Autumn Bardot knows that there must be more to Locusta's story. Locusta's story is one of survival, heartache and love. From her time growing up in Gaul, Locusta learned compassion, however, the poor match for her betrothal left her changed. I loved Locusta and Pricilla's relationship and how it grew over time. I was amazed by all of the herbal concoctions that Pricilla and Locusta came up with. The descriptions of Rome under Claudius and Nero were very detailed and historically accurate. The treachery, deception, excess and political intrigue was all deliciously shown, especially once Locusta became involved. Nero's taste for the extravagant was showcased with his Domus Aurea that I had no problem imagining from the descriptions. The religious upheaval of the time was also captured in the writing without getting in the way of the plot. One of my favorite parts of the story was between Locusta and Marcus, a steamy and passionate romance that began quickly and never lost fervor. As always, the erotic parts of the story are woven together to fit in seamlessly with the plot. Overall, The Emperor's Assassin is an intriguing historical fiction that brings to life one of history's overlooked women, Locusta of Gaul.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Autumn Bardot writes historical fiction and historical erotica. Her debut historical fiction is THE IMPALER’S WIFE. Her debut historical erotica is LEGENDS OF LUST.
Autumn, a pen name, has worked as an educator for more than sixteen years. She teaches literature, writing, and the magic of words. She has a passion for history and a special affinity for the unsung courageous females that history has neglected. Or misunderstood. Autumn lives in Southern California with her husband and every-growing family. She wishes she was one-tenth as brave as the women she writes about.
~ The Impaler’s Wife
~ Dragon Lady
~ The Emperor’s Assassin ( coming Oct 1, 2019 )
Historical Erotica ( Cleis Press)
~ Legends of Lust, Erotic Myths from around the World
~ Confessions of a Sheba Queen ( coming March 10, 2020)
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