I rate a book by whether I simply read it or I devour it. This I devoured. Empire is the story of a family who are eyewitnesses to the glory and the decadence of the Emperors spanning 4 generations from 14 A.D. to 141 B.C. Over time the Pinarius family see murder, mayhem, and even the burning of Rome itself in the great fire. They are not untouched by it. One generation is molested by Caligula, one dies by his own hand at the final days of Nero.