(From the publisher):
With Augustus ailing and the succession in doubt, Rome is alive with rumor and conspiracy.
Off the North African coast, a legate has been murdered and his daughter kidnapped. In the emperor's name, Marcus Agrippa organizes an expedition to recover the girl and reveal the intrigue. But he needs an unusual and expendable sort of man for this sensitive and cutthroat mission.
Enter Curtius Rufus - disgraced centurion, relentless womanizer, cocksure gambler - a man who should live by his wits and sword but is more likely found sleeping off a hangover next to a pretty slave girl. Rufus wants nothing more than to continue his vagrant Roman life, but Agrippa will not allow him that seedy luxury.
Threatened into accepting the mission, Rufus leads a contingent to the barbarian borders of the empire. There, using seduction, prowess, cunning, and the most invaluable bribe, Rufus tries to rescue the kidnapped girl and perhaps redeem his own life. But all too late, he realizes that the mission was betrayed early on, just another play in Rome's continuing power struggle. Surviving now only by his wits and his sword, Rufus conjures surprises of his own.
Original title: The Legate's Daughter
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ Ancient World (Greece, Rome, etc)→ Rome