Written by Simon Scarrow T. J Andrews
Review by Mike Ashworth

Britannia, AD 44. Optio Horatio Figulus, a Gaul serving in the Second Legion, distinguishes himself in the campaign against the tribes on the Isle of Vectis. Due to his background Figulus finds himself sent on a thankless mission to the land of the Durotrigans to install a puppet king, a mission almost doomed to failure before the start, further complicated by the presence of Numerius Scylla, an imperial envoy. A Druidic sect sees this as an opportunity to deal a mortal blow against the hated Roman conquerors, which will unite all the tribes in revolt.

When a novel is co-written, there is always a danger that you can see where one author stops and the other begins, but here the writing is seamless. As you would expect from a writer of Simon Scarrow’s calibre, this is well-researched, exciting and a page-turner from page one. The action scenes are vivid and realistic without being graphic. Roman politics and the fatal results of failure cast a dark shadow over Figulus as he strives to complete his mission against impossible odds, political interference, fanatical Druids and military incompetence. Highly recommended.