The author Jane Finnis was born in Britain, in what she describes in her own words as "God's Own Country, Yorkshire." As I too am from Yorkshire it is not a statement I am about to argue with. She studied history at London University and then stayed on in the capital and worked for some years as a freelance broadcaster for the BBC. She is now settled back in Yorkshire, close to the coast. She has always had a love of the Roman era and when she finally found time to do some writing, it seemed to be the obvious period in which to set her books.
98 AD and Aurelia Marcella is a happy lady, but not for long. The inn that she runs on the road to York with her twin brother Lucius is doing very well. Aurelia has had a trying time over the last few months and craves a little peace and quiet but twin brother Lucius attracts trouble like the inn's wine dregs attract the flies.
When a local farmer is brought to the inn in a wagon with a sword wound and seeking the help of a local Greek doctor, Aurelia smells trouble. When the poor farmer dies the twins head to the coast to return his body to his relatives and also to check out a shipwreck that was bearing a valuable cargo. It is thought that the sea raiders who stole the cargo, also fatally wounded the farmer.
Unlike the native Britain's in the south of the country who have become Romanised and taken up the ways of the empire, the Britain's in the north have no such liking for the colonists, or their ways and claim that the colonists are taking the best land. The killing of the farmer does nothing but fuel the flames of the local plotting and rebellion against Rome and Aurelia and Lucius find themselves slap bang in the middle of it all . . .