Rome, 31BC. A century of civil wars has torn apart the Republic. Now, even the great general Mark Antony has betrayed the Senate, siding with the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.
In this struggle for power, Senator Marcus Rutilius Crispus, a staunch republican, has thrown in his lot with Octavian, Rome’s leading man. The final war of the conflict will be decided at Actium. In the chaos of the battle at sea, Rutilius makes a fateful mistake. Octavian is victorious, but furious.
Rutilius’ attempts to recover Octavian’s favour, restore his wealth and save the Republic will lead him to desperate deeds. He will travel the Empire, delve into the corrupt world of informants, bloody his sword in battle and witness first hand Octavian’s intent to seize absolute power.
A new Rome is rising, basking in the glory of peace, but a Rome where power prevails over principle and friendship. Rutilius is not alone. Help will come when he least expects it. A chance meeting in a back street in Rome will turn the tide. Suddenly Rutilius’ life regains purpose. He has an idea to restore his wealth, an idea which leads him to centre stage in the circus of the courts.
Love will bring sacrifice, loyalty will bring hope, courage will bring reward.
But Octavian has a long memory.