This story is set at the same time of the other Spartacus tie in novel - Sword and Ashes by J.M.Clements. Spartacus and Crixus have defeated Theokolus and Crixus is in the medicus recovering from his wounds.
Batiatus and Spartacus, the bringer of rain, faces a new challenge from a Greek merchant wishing to create his own ludus and win the games using underhand measures.
If you like the TV series you will get a kick out of this stand alone story. All your favourite characters from the TV series are in the story and Crassus himself makes an early appearance which is fine given he does not actually interact with Spartacus much, so no spoilers with War Of The Damned series.
This novel is lot more fun than Sword and Ashes and has some great dialogue and fight scenes. I enjoyed it as much as any episode from the TV series and if you looking for more Spartacus fun and classic Batiatus phrases than look no further.
The book states Book 1 of Spartacus so hopefully there will be more.