The author of the best-selling Empire sequence continues his new epic of the uprising of the Batavi in AD 88.
The Rhine frontier has exploded into all-out war. Summoned back to their homeland by their new leader, Kivilaz, the Batavi cohorts, so recently proud soldiers of Rome, find their lands transformed. All Roman influences have vanished after a battle in which two legions were humbled by the rebels, then chased away to lick their wounds in their fortress, the Old Camp.
As the most experienced men in the Batavi army, the veteran soldiers are sent south again alongside an army of warriors from the German tribes, tasked with spearheading the fight to destroy the Roman stronghold and remove the threat it poses to their homeland. Swiftly besieged, and with little hope of relief, the defeated 5th and 15th legions grimly defend an undermanned fortress against both the Batavi and their enraged barbarian German allies, united under the banner of the priestess Veleda.
But a relief column under a driven Roman general is marching north, with a burning need to restore Rome's pride - and the events that follow will determine the fate of both the Old Camp and Roman rule on the northern frontier.
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- John J Mullin