As you would imagine mythology and ancient history are integral parts of the story. One can hope that younger readers who may not have read these tales from antiquity would be inspired to do so after reading this book.
Not only does Nielsen paint a realistic picture of Rome at the time but she also conveys the instability that was a feature of life in the empire. Plots and counter plots galore are revealed throughout the story and it ends with one final stunning revelation that is a cliffhanger and a door into more books in the series. This was a good read and I recommend it for ages 10+