CreateSpace, Mar 6 2011, $13.99
In ancient Rome, Vestal Virgins are selected when a girl is a preadolescent. At the temple they pledge to remain a virgin for the next three decades to properly serve the Gods. However, Vestal Virgins have rights other women do not as they own land and money. Most remain at the temple when their time as deity servants end because at forty they have no place else to go and know no other life.
Emperor Nero claims he is a god who can do anything he wants. Nero executes Marcus for treasonous acts including allegedly an assassination plot against the ruler in spite of his father being a senator. Nero summoned the traitor’s sister Elissa Rubria Honoria a Vestal Virgin to watch the execution. Despondent and irate, she vows vengeance. She loses her faith when her sister Flavia is violated and friends who she trusted turn out to be enemies who betray her.
Occurring during the reign of Nero (circa AD 63-64), the Vestal Virgin is a strong ancient Roman tale with a deep look at the pagan religions and the political scenario of a lunatic sitting on the throne. However, it is Elissa the Vestal Virgin who holds the story line together with her vendetta. Historical fiction readers will relish this powerful thriller that brings vividly to the armchair audience first century Rome.