This story is about the final collapse of industrial civilization, in a little less than 300 years. The narrator is the illegitimate daughter of a General in an empire that grew out of the USA. The book reads very similarly to I, Claudius, and Judson uses some very obvious parallels to the decline of the Roman empire. The narrative switches back and forward between her childhood (under the last decent emperor) and a present in which her father finds himself caught in a struggle for the throne.
It's a compelling story, slowly revealing clues about how the world came to be that way and how the powerful empire collapses.
Very good indeed.