Having foiled the Malwa once, Belisarius must face them in strength as they invade Persia. This is easily my favorite of the three. Knowing the real history it's nice to see Persians and Romans working together instead of destroying each other, and unlike the last book this one is occupied exclusively with epic battles. The first half features them facing off in Mesopotamia while the second has them in northeast Iran.
This volume has my favorite moments from the series. It's always nice to see everything come together, and the way things work out with almost miraculous precision is great. As I said in my previous review, it's not a particularly realistic series. None of the characters ever rise beyond one or two character traits and Belisarius' constant string of victories is just ever so slightly implausible. What it is is rousing action followed by more rousing action with maybe a little more rousing action thrown in on the side. Are there a few too many cliches and endlessly repeated in jokes and one-liners? Sure. But nobody said the series was high art. Odds are if you like it you'll REALLY like it, and if you don't then you probably won't get this far anyway.
What makes these books so much fun is not the overarching plot as much as the little moments. These are bits that are so cool it makes you silently go "Yes!" And this book has more of those moments than any other in the series. Sure there are plenty of not so good ones (an escape down a qanat for example) but the books seem to operate under the policy that if you throw enough cool stuff at the readers some of it will stick. That it does stick more often than not is a credit to the writers.