By Anthony Riches

'A grasp of the style' The Times

The conflict of the misplaced Eagle kept Hadrian's Wall , however the new Roman governor of Britannia needs to stamp out the uprising of the northern tribes or hazard wasting the province. Rampaging south with sword and flame below the command in their murderous chieftain Calgus, they've got stretched his forces to the limit.

For Marcus - now easily Centurion Corvus of the first Tungrian cohort - the crusade has develop into doubly risky. As reinforcements flood into Britannia he's surrounded via new officials without cause to guard him from the emperor's henchmen. dying may possibly consequence from a slipshod notice as simply as from an enemy spear

Worse, certainly one of them is shut on his heels. whereas Marcus is education centuries of Syrian archers to outlive a barbarian cost after which take the struggle again to their enemy, the hot prefect of the 2d Tungrians has found his mystery. just a miracle can shop Marcus and the boys who defend him from shame and demise . . .

Anthony Riches once more brings meticulous study including exceptional storytelling to seize the genuine think of what existence used to be like for the Roman military in a brutal conflict with a remorseless enemy.

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Sample text

He looked hard for a moment at the ornate replica of a round cavalry shield, decorated with an intricate engraving of Mars in full armour, sword raised to strike. ‘So that’s what the pair of you rode all that way to find. Very pretty …’ Rufius took the younger man’s cloak and tossed it on to the piled table. ‘It’s just about all he’s got to remind him of his father. There’s a personal inscription on the shield’s rear too, which makes it even more precious to him. ’ The hulking young officer standing behind them laughed softly, his discomfort with the novelty of his status suddenly forgotten.

A red smear across his forehead indicated that one of the defenders had clubbed him to the ground without taking the precaution of checking that the blow had been sufficient to put him out of the combat. He was pointing to something that was out of sight to Marcus around the inner wall’s curve, bellowing words that were inaudible over the battle’s cacophony of screams and curses. With a sudden flash of insight Marcus realised what he must be pointing at. ‘The next gate …’ He turned to Dubnus, pointing urgently past the seething mob of barbarians on the other side of their shield wall.

Instinctively raising his shield as he spun to face the outer wall, he felt a clanging thud as a spear intended for his back found only the iron boss in the shield’s centre. The spearman howled his frustration at the miss, then staggered forward off the wall and turned a neat half-somersault to the ground with an arrow buried in his neck, the price of standing to make the throw. A flicker of movement caught Marcus’s eye, a mob of a hundred or more barbarians streaming round the fort’s inner wall from his right, waving swords and axes in the air as they charged towards their attackers with berserk howls.

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