There is a saying in Rome: the Tarpeian Rock is close to the capitol. Meaning that even at the height of power, one is never far from a fall. As the Vestalis Maxima, Pomponia has guided her order through the collapse of Rome’s Republic and the rise of the Empire. Her wit and piety have elevated the Vestals to a position of unprecedented prestige—and her friendship with Caesar Augustus has afforded her personally a life of political influence and privilege. She has been adored and untouchable.
Yet that illusion of safety has been shattered by a ruthless enemy who continues to menace her from the shadows, his vengeful nature escalating to terrifying new heights that threaten not just Pomponia, but all those she cares for—including the emperor himself.
Worse, it seems that the gods are also turning against her when the Vestal order suffers an unparalleled crisis that Pomponia must answer for. Struggling to maintain her position, Pomponia looks to her slaves and a renegade charioteer for support as her complex relationship with her protégé, Quintina, brings painful secrets to light.
Faced with threats from all directions, Pomponia must be willing to sacrifice everything—even her own morality—to protect her status, the Vestal order, and the lives of those around her.
In Empire of Iron, the unflinching conclusion to the Vesta Shadows trilogy, Pomponia realizes that, like Rome itself, she must become even more ruthless than her enemies if she is to survive.