From 'the rising star of historical fiction' (Wilbur Smith), the first in a new gripping three-part series, based on real historical events. Three Roman legions massacred. Three Imperial Eagles lost. Three men vie for revenge. In the summer of 9 CE, Publius Varus, the Roman governor of Germania, and Lucius Tullus, a centurion garrisoned on the Rhine, march east with three legions. As they prepare to return to their winter quarters, they are lured off the road and ambushed by German warriors. The Germans are led by Arminius, a chieftain who is a trusted ally of Rome -- and a man who has been secretly planning to betray the empire since childhood. Trapping Varus' legionaries between a hillside and a marsh, and thereby preventing them from forming up or using their artillery, Arminius and his warriors wreak a terrible slaughter. The Roman defeat is overwhelming, but it is not until the third day of the massacre that the scale of Arminius' victory becomes clear. Three legions, upwards of fourteen thousand men have been annihilated, and three treasured Eagle standards have been lost. Just a few hundred legionaries, including Tullus, manage to escape. Nor is the survivors' ordeal over. Pursued to the last Roman fort east of the Rhine, they are besieged by thousands of bloodthirsty tribesmen. Only the gods can save them now.
'History is more than facts on a page. It's the sounds, the smells, the people, the passion. History should make you think: 'I was there'. My books are born from my obsession with Roman history. I've followed Spartacus's trail across Italy. I've stood at Cannae and pictured Hannibal's army meeting the massed legions of Rome. I've watched the sea lapping against the fortifications of Syracuse, besieged by the Romans for close to two years. Immerse yourself in these incredible stories and -- like me -- remind yourself why the legend of Rome endures.'