Britannia, 45 AD: Vespasian's brother, Sabinus, is captured by druids. The druids want to offer a potent sacrifice to their gods – not just one Roman Legate, but two. They know that Vespasian will come after his brother and they plan to sacrifice the siblings on midsummer's day. Vespasian must strive to save his brother whilst completing the conquest of the south-west of the haunted isle, before he is drawn inexorably back to Rome and the heart of Imperial politics.
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Rome, AD 41. Caligula has been assassinated and the Praetorian Guard have proclaimed Claudius Emperor – but his position is precarious. His three freedmen, Narcissus, Pallas and Callistus, must find a way to manufacture a quick victory – but how? Pallas has the answer: retrieve the Eagle of the Seventeenth, lost nearly 40 years before. Who but Vespasian could lead a dangerous mission into the gloomy forests of Germania?
Rome, AD 51: Vespasian brings Rome's greatest enemy before the emperor. After eight years of resistance, the British warrior Caratacus has been caught. But Agrippina, Emperor Claudius' wife, pardons Caratacus. Claudius is a drunken fool, and Narcissus and Pallas, his freedmen, are battling for control of his throne. Separately,they decide to send Vespasian east to Armenia to defend Rome's interests. Meanwhile the East is in turmoil.