by Douglas Jackson
AD 72. Titus Flavius Vespasianus, known as Vespasian, is Emperor of Rome – but his grip on power is weakening. Economic disaster threatens the city – and when Rome is threatened, so too is the Empire. Recently married and building a new home, Gaius Valerius Verrens thought he’d at last found a life away from the battlefield. But he is summoned by the Emperor to do one last favor for Rome: he must journey to the remote, mountainous region of Asturica Augusta and investigate claims that a bandit called ‘The Ghost’ is raiding the Empire’s gold convoys. When Valerius arrives, he finds a tortured, gods-forsaken land whose native tribes, exploited for so long, are a growing threat. But treachery lurks in the shadows, and it seems the real danger comes from those closer to him. Valerius must put an end to a conspiracy that would plunge the Empire into a devastating new conflict – but first he must establish who is a friend, and who a foe.