I was fooled by the cover and endorsements on the jacket. I was expecting Roman Legions battling it out with barbarians. There is one great battle at the end, but this is really a romance novel set in 375 AD Britain. Tribune Galba Brassidius expects to be the new commander of the Petriana cavalry at the Hadrian Wall fort Petrianais, but he is supplanted by an inexperienced Praefectus, Marcus Flavius, from Rome. Marcus has obtained the post through a financial arrangement with a Roman senator. In exchange for money, Marcus gets the new posting and the hand of the senator's daughter, Valeria. This arrangement gives him the prestige of a senatorial connection, and a field command to further his career. An irate Galba has his own agenda. He has been dealing on both sides of Hadrian's Wall, and he enlists the aide of a Celtic Chieftain, Arden Caratacus, to kidnap Valeria. Galba hopes to incite war between the Celts and Romans and get Marius killed, take his wife, and in the process, become a hero. A naive Valeria loathes Galba's crude advances, is puzzled by her husband's indifference, ignores the worship of young tribune Clodius, and struggles with her growing feelings for the young Celt, Arden. Valeria also ignores the advice of her wise slave Savia. Much of the story is related in the aftermath by Roman investigator Draco, who is trying to piece together the cause of the catastrophe.