"It is over a year since the mighty Roman army landed on the shores of Britain, confident that resistance would be short-lived. Yet, while most tribes in the island's southern corner have succumbed, the barbarian leader Caratacus continues to torment the legions, his savage warriors increasingly sophisticated in their guerilla tactics. Now, though, the Emperor Claudius needs victory in Britain to make his position safe, and the time has come to silence the enemy permanently." "As the Roman troops gather on the eve of battle, centurions Cato and Macro share the confidence of their comrades that their long stay in this distant outpost is close to an end. Tomorrow a final, decisive blow will surely annihilate Caratacus. No other outcome is imaginable." "But the battle does not follow the expected course. While it's clear to Cato and Macro where the responsibility lies, it is inevitable that blame will be passed down the line. And the most ruthless army in the known world prepares to inflict dreadful punishment on the very men who could bring the long campaign in Britain to a triumphant conclusion."--BOOK JACKET.