77AD. Gaius Valerius Verrens is an honoured member of Emperor Vespasian's inner circle, but the enmity between him and Vespasian's son Domitian means that, even in Rome, danger is never far away.
Meanwhile, in the outer reaches of the Empire, in Britannia, trouble is brewing.
The governor, Agricola is preparing to march his legions north and Valerius is Agricola's chief legal adviser and deputy governor. It's the opportunity he seeks to move his wife and son out of reach of Domitian's wrath.
The massacre of a Roman garrison and suspicious death throw Agricola's preparations into confusion. Now his eyes turn west to Mona and the Druids, who still harbour hopes of ridding Britannia of Roman rule. But to deal with them, Agricola needs a soldier he can trust to lead the legion. Only one man in the province has the experience and the ability . . .
So a reluctant Valerius picks up his sword once more. He soon comes to understand that any glory his new legion wins is likely to be fleeting and tainted - and that he has placed his family in deadly peril.
Gaius Valerius Verrens's adventures conclude in Hammer of Rome.