Roman Britain, AD 44. General Plautius' hard-won defeat of Caratacus should have brought peace. But though the land is conquered, it is far from tamed. A puppet king is doing little to calm the hatred of the tribes and bring them under Roman rule.
Fighting is in Optio Horatius Figulus' blood. His Celtic ancestry is mocked by his fellow soldiers, but it gives him the toughness essential for survival. His Centurion, though, is a very different kind of soldier - one who seems to care more about paperwork than leading his men into battle.
Sent on a thankless mission deep in hostile territory, in the knowledge that to fail will bring the end of his military career, Figulus finds his courage - and that of his men - tested to the very limit. And, more than anyone, Figulus understands the Celtic mind. He knows that, even utterly crushed in battle, their warriors routed and the Druids driven from their hill forts, the tribesmen of Britannia will sooner die than surrender.
"I really don't need this kind of competition.... It's a great read." (Bernard Cornwell)
"Blends together historical facts and characters to create a book that simply cannot be put down.... Highly recommended." (Historical Novels Review)
"A fast-moving and exceptionally well-paced historical thriller." (BBC History Magazine)
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