AD81. The Roman Emperor Domitian seizes power. Afflicted by classic paranoia, the self-styled Master and God sees enemies everywhere - and he is right. The Senate loathes him, his advisers are terrified, he cannot trust his wife and barbarians menace the frontiers. As he vents his suspicions, no one is safe...Gaius Vinius Clodianus survives physical and mental scars to reach high rank in the Praetorian Guard. Flavia Lucilla tends the privileged women at court; when Domitian's inherited talent unravels into madness, she loses her patron cruelly. In the haven of their shared apartment, Gaius and Lucilla find solace together, yearning for normality while living in a Reign of Terror.