The third, and maybe the best, of the Aquila family series set in Roman Britain. The Romans are almost a memory in a military sense. The legions are gone, and auxilliary troops are left. Vortigern is High King and has invited the Saxon wolf over the threshold to help defend against the Picts and northern raiders, and they demand a high price. Aquila has followed the family military trend and is a Decurion of Horse stationed at Rutupiae. His blind father Flavian is the custodian of the family farm. Aquila has a sister Flavia and they are very close in age and affection.
Then life falls apart, and Aquila is forced into a journey which leaves him hardened,embittered and searching for a place to be and a cause to fight and believe in. This story does not patronise young people and crosses the age barrier. We follow Aquila into his late thirties, the loyalties and relationships he forges in place of the old ones. We live the adventures he survives and the battles he fights. With Aquila we see the development of the boy and young man who may have been King Arthur - Artos Aurealanus. Superb and moving story telling.
The journey of Aquila continues in Sword at Sunset, which focuses on Artos.