Two women – a priestess of fire charged with protecting the Roman empire, and an unwanted slave – are brought together in a triumphant tale of survival, intrigue and deadly loyalty.
Based on the untold true story of ancient Rome’s most scandalous trial of Vestal Virgins, 114BC. Rome will sacrifice anything to protect the empire, but this slave will do anything to save her priestess. These are women of fire.
She is Secunda, or she was at the start. Disfigured by burns, the girl named ‘number two’ longs to be truly seen. But when drawn into the world of the famous Vestal Virgins the fiery slave must find her place where scrutiny is constant, and deadly.
Aemilia sees. The aristocratic priestess has given a lifetime tending the fire believed to be the living heart of Rome. Now gripped by temptations of a new life of freedom and passion, a shock scandal threatens to trap her where all that once protected her is now peril.
As frontline losses unnerve the realm, a vortex of political power and superstition pulls Aemilia into a fight between her survival, and Rome’s. Secunda must somehow save her but these are women of fire, and fire knows only to cure through total destruction.