In the 3rd Century AD, the beautiful seventeen-year-old Zenobia, said to be a descendant of Cleopatra VII, marries Odaenathus, the prince of Palmyra. While Odaenathus leads the Assyrian army to meet the Persians in battle, Zenobia welcomes and entertains the new Roman emperor, Aurelian. The two are mutually attracted and begin a torrid love affair. Shortly after Odaenathus’ triumphant return, he and his oldest son are assassinated. A sword of the Imperial Guard is found at the scene of the murder. Zenobia believes Aurelian had Odaenathus murdered because of the growing threat to his fledgling power. Outraged, she swears revenge. Over the next five years, as Aurelian is battling invaders from the north and then from Brittania, Zenobia raises an army that conquers the entire Eastern Roman Empire. But can she hold on to what she has gained? And is it worth the cost?