AD 34: Sebastos Pantera is twelve. Training for the time when he too will be a soldier of Rome, he follows his father to a garden tomb on the outskirts of Jerusalem – where he watches him greet two men and a heavily pregnant woman – and in a moment that changes his life for ever, sees a wounded revolutionary being brought out alive …
Twenty years later on a strip of sand in Gaul, a grubby urchin watches a ship land, and a man with a badly scarred face disembark. The man is Pantera, assassin and spy for the Legions, returning from five years’ undercover in Britannia. Pantera is sick of spying. But a deadly combination of old loyalties and a sense of unfinished business combine to lure him homeward to the city of Rome. Charged by his former mentor and spymaster, the Machiavellian Seneca the Younger, to root out the revolutionaries responsible for the city’s seething unrest, Pantera soon finds that the main trouble maker is none other than his closest friend Saulos, a recent convert to the new religion of Christianity, and who is planning the biggest single act of terrorism the Roman empire has known.
Spying, forbidden secrets, an ancient manuscript and an apocalyptic fire combine in a gripping thriller that will change the way we think about the ancient world.
About the author
Manda Scott began writing while still a veterinary surgeon. Her first novel HEN’S TEETH was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. She lives in Shropshire with her partner, and in her spare time climbs rocks and rides horses. She also teaches shamanic dreaming courses around the country.