Pirates have cut off Rome’s grain supplies, antagonising the new Caesar, Octavian.
Pacts and compromises have failed, so now Octavian must go to war to eradicate the threat.
But can his impoverished navy overcome a superior fleet, commanded by Sextus Pompey?
His spymaster, Agrippa, has placed a man inside Pompey's camp – but former centurion Titus Villius Macer must choose where his loyalties lie.
The veteran who once saved the pirate leader’s life is torn between a friendship rapidly turning sour and his pledge to serve Rome.
Titus and his reliable second-in-command, Crispus, must employ guile – and bloody their swords – to navigate the conflict and protect those closest to them.
But sometimes the greater battle is how a man deals with betrayal where he least expects it.