Regular price: $21.31

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $21.31

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

AD 255; the Roman Imperium is stretched to breaking point, its authority and might challenged throughout the territories and along every border. Yet the most lethal threat lurks far to the east in Persia, where the massing forces of the Sassanid Empire loom with fiery menace. The far-flung and isolated citadel of Arete faces out across the wasteland, awaiting the inevitable invasion. One man is sent to marshal the defences of this lonely city; one man to shore up the crumbling walls of a once indomitable symbol of Roman power; a man whose name itself means war, a man called Ballista. Alone, Ballista is called to muster the forces and the courage to stand first and to stand hard against the greatest enemy ever to confront the Imperium.
©2008 Dr Harry Sidebottom; (P)2008 WF Howes Ltd
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By John on 06-12-09

Maps and appendix please

This book apparently contains a helpful appendix supplementing the characters, history, with maps. This is not the only audio book that would be enhanced significantly if Audible would make such supplementary info available with a pdf. In the past, I've usually been able to find some of this stuff at authors web pages, but not this time. So rather than review the incomplete book (which I really haven't finished), let me just warn others that it is challenging to keep all of the characters and locales herein straight without a program. I nevertheless found the main character engaging, and the plot lines including a cadre of spies and the prospect of religious war on the part of the Persians in the 3rd century interesting.

Read More Hide me

8 of 8 people found this review helpful


By Michael on 03-02-10

Never a dull moment

I love the classical period and go out of my way to find books on the period. However, it does not happen very offen where you get fast paced action along with historical accuracy. This book does a good job at both - probably because Dr. Sidebottom (I love the name) is a classical professor who makes sure that his level of historical accuracy and faithfulness to what we know of the realities during the period are true. It's brutality, gritty language, the various peoples and religions coming into conflict during a period of turmoil in the latter Roman Empire, all add up to make one hell of a ride! The author all so develops his characters with interesting personalities, there not cardboard cutouts, you care what happens to them. Nick Boulton's narration is excellent, especially the Latin (Roman) and Sassanian (Persian)names and terms. He also keeps the tension at just the right level, its hard to lose interest.

Read More Hide me

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Simon on 07-12-14

Worth Persevering With

This is a really decent story and once it starts the action is excellently narrated with clearly discernible character voices. The problem, for me at least, is that the author seems so determined to demonstrate his knowledge of ancient tribes and geography that he mentions endless characters and places that barely have any relevance to the story. At times the book reads like an old, dry history text book.

I found it well worth persevering with but there is some parts which I think could have been massively trimmed to keep the story moving at a less somnolent pace.

Read More Hide me

4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Mark on 06-25-10

Excellent!

Extremely well read by the narrator. I found the detail and pace just right for me. A very very enjoyable purchase and I am very much looking forward to the second book, hopefully it wont be too long in coming...

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2017 Audible, Inc