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Despite playing a key role in defeating the Helvetii, Marcus Crastinus slays a high-ranking chieftain in retaliation for murdering his beloved Lapidara.
Court martialed for murder; Marcus is sentenced to a brutal death by crucifixion. Forced to witness his brother's shame, Gaius Crastinus and the Xth Legion, fighting for Caesar in Gaul, march toward a new threat from across the Rhine. Ariovistus and over 100,000 ferocious Germans are squatting on lands wrested from rival Gallic tribes.
Marcus' sentence was merely postponed until the opposing army is safely out of sight. Offered one last opportunity to regain both rank and lost honor, he must accompany two master spies into the unbalanced king's lair, keeping them alive long enough to convince Ariovistus to meet with the Imperator and thus avoid a costly war.
They must also find and verify that Gallic hostages are safe, and return them to their people, alive. Under a new identity and utter secrecy to assure success, Marcus has no choice but to accept, as failure means certain death on the cross.
About the Author: A lifelong interest in the Roman military led author Brent Nielsen to write this third book in a series. The first two are First Spear Rudimenta (2009) and Pro Denuo (2019). He was born in Fremont, California, but Georgia has been his home for over forty years