Rome, 10BC. Manilus Dardanus, a new soldier from the provinces, applies for a military sponsorship with Cassius Valerian, general of a small legion patrolling the Raetian frontier. Idealistic and naive, Dardanus has a lot to learn about the life he has chosen, and at first the brusque and reticent general seems the least willing candidate to teach him; but gradually a bond forms between this unlikely pair, one that neither could ever have imagined. Over the course of one blood-soaked summer in the wild, as Dardanus struggles with coming of age and Valerian wrestles the ghosts of his past, battles and betrayals will threaten that fragile bond — and possibly their lives.
- a compelling portrait of a rough, complicated man gradually thawing to the idea of loving someone again — Steve Donoghue, Historical Novel Society
- no mooncalfing here: just two fully-rounded, modest, slightly shy people trying to do the right thing — Idle Woman Reviews
- a simple, highly readable, well researched, and thoughtful novel — GLBT Bookshelf
- builds gradually like an orgasm, and climaxes nicely too — Gerry B's Book Reviews
- Bottom line: this is a great historical fiction read! — A Bookish Affair