Two years have passed since the emperor's loyal Praetorian guardsman Gnaeus Marcius Rustius Rufinus foiled Lucilla's great assassination plot. Plagued by the ghosts of his past, Rufinus has enacted his own form of justice upon the Praetorian cavalrymen who murdered the imperial agent Dis two years earlier. But the Fates will not let Rufinus rest.
Rome is beginning to seethe with rumour and conspiracy as Perennis, the prefect of the Praetorian Guard, and Cleander, the imperial chamberlain, continue to play their 'great game'.
With the tide of opinion turning against their commander, Rufinus and his friends embark upon a mission to save the Prefect's family, only to uncover a plot that runs deep...to the very heart of the empire.
Armed with rare and dangerous evidence, Rufinus faces insurmountable odds in an attempt to bring the truth to light. To save his prefect. To save Rome. To save everyone he cares about.