St. Martin's Griffin
Romulus and Fabiola are twins, born into slavery, and then later sold: Romulus to gladiator school, and Fabiola into prostitution, where she will catch the eye of one of the most powerful men in Rome.
Tarquinius is an Etruscan, a warrior, born enemy of Rome and trained by the last haruspex in the forgotten arts of divination. A runaway slave, then an AWOL Legionaire, he has a long foretold destiny that will take him to the ends of the known world.
Brennus is a Gaul who lost his entire clain in a battle against the Roman Army. After being sold as a slave he rises to bcome one of the most famous and feared gladiators of his day.
The lives of these four are interwoven in story that ranges from a Rome riven by corruption, violence and political enmities to ends of the empire, where Romulus, Brennus and Tarquinius find themselves fighting against the Parthians and overwhelming odds - members of The Forgotten Legion.
NORTHERN ITALY, 70 BC
The raven hopped onto the dead lamb's head and stared at Tarquinius. He was still more than fifty paces away. It croaked scornfully and pecked at the staring eyeball with its powerful beak. The lamb was no more than three days old, its meager flesh already devoured by mountain wolves.
Tarquinius stooped, picked up a small rock, and fitted it to his sling. A slight figure with blond hair, he wore a loose thigh-length tunic, belted at the waist. Sturdy sandals clad his feet.
"Spare the bird. He did not kill