I have just finished rereading this book and found it as enjoyable the second time around. The premise that an advanced alien empire has a number of "trade guilds" which solve their problems militarily within the limits of the civilization which they deal is novel and a clever angle.
A roman army is purchased from earth after its defeat by a trade guild looking for soldiers to be used in 'negotiations' with cultures of a similar level of military.
The author does a very good job of describing the military positioning and battles between the Roman legion and their various opponents. At the same time you are shown the aliens view of the troops as nothing more than 'useful' assets to be used when needed.
A good book to read, if you enjoy military sci-fi, with a completely new idea at its heart.
I also agree with another poster that the new cover does nothing for this book. I have the older version which actually made me want to buy the book off the shelf!!
on 5 March 2016
A warning must read to all aliens bent on human abduction. Careful who you pick, chose a roman legion and you know it's gonna really really end badly.
A legion of soldiers, disiplined and trained by one of Earths greatest empires, abducted and taken to the stars to fight the battles the aliens require.
David Drake's twist on sword versus sorcery, this time its swords versus technology.