Foul sorcery had slain the Emperor. Now the army of Videssos, betrayed by one man's craven folly, fled in panic from the savage victors. But there was no panic in the Legion, mysteriously displaced from Gaul and Rome into this strange world of magic.
Wearily, Tribune Marcus Scaurus led his men through the chaos and enemy hordes in search of winter quarters, to regroup and seek to join up with Thorisin Gavras, now rightful ruler of Videssos.
But in Videssos the city, capital of the beleaguered realm, Ortaias Sphrantzes, whose cowardice had caused their defeat, now sat upon the throne. There, behind great walls that had always made the city impregnable to storm or siege, he ruled with the support of evil sorcery. Overthrowing him seemed impossible.
Grimly, Marcus Scaurus began the long march through hostile country toward that seemingly hopeless attempt.
Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empirenovels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.