Titus Porcinianus Pullus, grandson and namesake of the late Camp Prefect Titus Pomponius Pullus, has settled into life as an Optio of the 8th Legion, stationed in Siscia, as has his brother Sextus, who is also serving under the standard of the same Legion. The province is technically at peace, but in an instant, the entire Pullus family learns the horrible truth of the myth "All is quiet in Pannonia", when tragedy strikes in the form of an ambush by a local tribe. Lashing out in his rage and grief, Titus' actions during a punitive raid creates a crisis for which he will be punished. In order to save his career and life, he strikes a bargain with Dolabella, the mysterious spymaster, to serve a Roman nobleman. It is a fate that Titus has tried to avoid, understanding the threat and toll such a relationship took on his beloved Avus, the first and greatest Titus Pullus. But, unlike the first Titus Pullus, it is not the aged Augustus the young Optio is going to serve, but his dutiful stepson Tiberius Claudius Nero. However, as he quickly learns, serving an ambitious Roman patrician, no matter who it is, poses its own set of risks, and Titus finds himself as the next Pullus whose life is linked to the aspirations of a member of Rome's ruling class, all because of an act of vengeance.
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