As a young boy Atilus Cindras had been taken from Britain to Rome as a slave, and trained in the gruesome arts of the gladiators. Fueled by his hatred for Rome, he'd risen to the top of his killing trade with his fierce and deadly skill, and won the coveted Rudis, the wooden sword that gave him his freedom. But he wants more from Rome than this, and gambles all of his money on a commercial venture that fails. Now deeply in debt, he's pulled into a partnership with wealthy patricians who want to use his knowledge as a lanista--a manager of gladiators--to make them all rich. When one of his backers betrays him, and when Rome erupts in fire in the summer heat, Atilus must use every skill, every bit of knowledge, to save himself and his new British wife from the all-engulfing flames, and then somehow find a way to return to his native land. The stunning, action-filled conclusion to the Atilus Trilogy!