The Book

For a ten-year-old girl, growing up is difficult enough. Coming of age in the latter half of the first century Roman empire is even more daunting. Especially during the violent and treacherous reign of Emperor Domitianus. The historical fiction novel, The Dark before the Dawn navigates Thalia’s tumultuous journey through the expectations of being a senator’s daughter. With every other detail predestined, she’s managed to guard only one decision in her life: to love her uncle’s slave, Aledus, for whatever remains of it.

Thalia’s move from her home province of Britannia to Roma leaves her feeling every bit as foreign as Aledus, a Briton orphan raised by her uncle, the formidable General Agricola. When they’re forced to part at the onset of adolescence, Thalia must integrate into her surroundings until they can make their escape back to the most undesirable corner of the empire. Her coming of age amidst the Roman elite forces her down a life-altering path of lies, secrets, and alliances threatening to destroy any possibility of ever finding her way to Aledus again.


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