215 BCE. The 2nd Punic War between the Roman Republic and Carthage has entered its fourth year. Gisgo, bankrupt prince of Numidia and veteran of Hannibal’s campaign in Italy, embarks on the greatest journey of his life; a sea voyage to the edge of the known world in search of his wife and young son. An adventure that will reveal the true extent of Carthage’s trade interests in West Africa, and teach Gisgo that Astarte, goddess of love and war, can take as well as give.
In the Mediterranean, the war rages on. Sent to support the Roman forces on the island of Sardinia, Julian, freshly promoted to centurion and the youngest officer in Scipio’s expeditionary army, is soon thrown into the desperate fight to stop Carthage from regaining her lost lands. But war is not the only challenge that the young Roman officer faces – for as Julian soon realises - duty and friendship do not always go hand in hand.
In Italy, Hannibal holds sway in much of the south, his army unchallenged by Rome after the crushing defeat at Cannae. But another war is being fought in the shadows; a bitter conflict between rival spies; a battle that has the potential to change the course of the war. In this unseen secret war, Flavius, father, patriot and Roman spymaster, must make the best of a poor situation; as he juggles a deteriorating homelife with the relentless demands of his job, and the financial and political fallout of a Republic at War.