The conclusion of a trilogy that begins with Eagle of the Ninth and continues with the Silver Branch.
When the last of the Roman Auxiliaries set sail in their galleys and left Britain for ever, they abandoned the country to internal strife and the menace of invasion by Saxons. These were dark days indeed for Aquila, a young Roman officer who decided at the last moment that his loyalties lay with Britain rather than the Legions. He returned to the family villa in the downlands, only to have all that he loved destroyed by the invaders. He himself was carried off into thraldom; yet even when a chance to escape presented itself, his freedom brought him little joy, for he had learned that his sister was married to a a Saxon, and the knowledge filled him with bitterness. It took many years of hardship, of strenuous fighting under the Roman-British leader Ambrosius against the treacherous Vortigern and his Saxon allies, before he found a measure of contentment: a contentment partly learned from the kind and gentle Brother Ninnias, partly from the loving loyalty of his British wife Ness, partly from an encounter with his sister's son who was fighting with the enemy.
This is an exciting chronicle full of stirring incident and bitter conflict. With her customary skill Rosemary Sutcliff brings vividly to life the turbulent period of her story, the time when the last of the Romans in Britain were struggling to carry forward what light they could into the Dark Ages that were to follow.
—from the dust jacket
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