AD 381. Five years have gone by since a Roman governor ordered the deaths of a Gothic king and his attendants at a feast in their honour. This disastrous act led to warfare in the Roman Empire and the death of the Emperor Valens.
The Empire is now at peace, but the powerful brother of the murdered king has sworn revenge on the regicides, and will not rest until they are hunted down. For the eight legionaries who carried out the killings, the bloodshed is only just beginning.
Flavius Focalis is one of those legionaries. After narrowly surviving an attempt on his life, Focalis seeks to warn his former comrades, for he knows their enemy is implacable. So begins a deadly game of cat-and-mouse across the Empire, with far more than eight lives at stake. For war is coming – and the only question is: do they die now, or die later?