Sunday, July 26, 2015

494 (2015 #51). I Am Livia

by Phyllis T. Smith

This book is a historical fiction/biographical novel of Livia Drusilla (58 BC - 29 AD), the wife of Caesar Augustus (aka Octavius), the Roman ruler from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.

In the book, Livia is looking back from old age on her earlier years, beginning when she is 14 years old, just before Julius Caesar was assassinated - a plot in which her father was involved. It follows her life closely for the next 14 years - through her marriage to her father's ally Tiberius Nero, to her marriage to Octavius (while pregnant with Tiberius' second son), through numerous wars, to the beginning of his reign as emperor of Rome.

I'd encountered Livia as a character in a few other books (particularly in ones I've read about Cleopatra and her daughter), but really didn't know much about her beyond the rumors also mentioned by Livia herself at the beginning of this book.  Debut author Phyllis T. Smith brings the character and the period to life, and makes me see why Augustus Caesar stayed married to her for 51 years, despite the rumors about her, and their inability to have a child together.

Oh, and I just love the cover art - the mosaic style is definitely appropriate for ancient Rome.

© Amanda Pape - 2015

[I received this e-book for free through the Kindle First program.]

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