Thanks, CarterT! (I didn't find a way to decrease the mentioning of Rome while leaving the enmity of the empire and of Alexander's role, and I'll welcome suggestions to do that. As for Caligula, I thought his name is quite known so his unknown role here is intriguing.)
Here's the new version:
For rebellion leader Bernice, opposing the Roman Empire seems easier than opposing the Roman commander she loves. I think this hook is good, but could use a couple details to make it great.
When Bernice's father tries to kill himself, pressed by inflating debt to the senators controlling Rome, Bernice vows to overthrow the senators' abusive oligarchy. She and her father help the rebellious Caligula in his quest to become emperor. Meanwhile Bernice seeks aid in repaying her father's debt, by looking for her childhood friend, Alexander. When she finds him, now a formidable officer in the Roman army, they wrangle over Rome's oppression, recognize their mutual dream of justice, and fall hopelessly in love.
Bernice and her father achieve their goal as Caligula becomes emperor, appoints Bernice's father as King of Israel, and revives the republic's elections. The degraded oligarchs poison Caligula, and when he becomes insane, they exploit the empire's people and leave them starved. In response, Bernice and her father spearhead a rebellion, rallying the entire Eastern Empire. though I am intrigued by the story through these last couple paragraphs, the question I'm asking myself is why Bernice? Why is she the main character? the story seems to be focusing on all these other characters and not her. Though I think it's important to get the story through the way you have, I think some restructuring for more focus on Bernice might be good.
After the rebels' announcement of independence, Bernice's father is assassinated. Fearing for the life of the new Queen, Alexander rushes to the grieving Bernice, comforts her and proposes. But marrying a Roman commander will force Bernice to end the rebellion.
Bernice must sacrifice her love, and probably her life, for the masses' only chance to fight their enslavement.
The Wrong Empress
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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:40 PM
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