The Emperor's Babe by Bernardine Evaristo
Londinium, AD 211. Zuleika is a modern girl living in an ancient world. She's a back-alley firecracker, a scruffy Nubian babe with tangled hair and bare feet - and she's just been married off a fat old Roman. Life as a teenage bride is no joke but Zeeks is a born survivor. She knows this city like the back of her hand: its slave girls and drag queens, its shining villas and rotting slums. She knows how to get by. Until one day she catches the eye of the most powerful man on earth, the Roman Emperor, and her trouble really start...
The Emperor’s Babe is a daring and unconventional piece of literature in many ways. It’s a novel in verse, merging past and present humourously and exploring issues of migration and enslavement as well as the presence of black people in Europe in antiquity. The author gently explores female sexuality, but brutally addresses sexualised violence as well.