The first in a series of action-packed novellas set in Ancient Rome introducing Pavo, a novice gladiator, and featuring Simon Scarrow's ongoing soldier character Optio Macro.
It is AD 41. The savage Gaul Britomaris has defeated the best of the Roman gladiators in the arena. Now a young volunteer, Marcus Valerius Pavo, the son of a murdered general, has been given a month to prepare to face Britomaris in a fight which only one man can survive. He is to be trained by veteran soldier Macro, who fears for his young trainee's chances. But Pavo is motivated by more than a simple desire for victory or survival, and Britomaris may yet be facing his most dangerous opponent...
At about 100 pages, less story, more hack and slash.