"Acres of abandoned foundation stones... More than anything else, they now symbolize the devastated ambitions of a superior age."

Marcus Cedranus narrates his memoir as a Roman soldier and military leader during the twilight years of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, AD 383-408. Marcus kept diaries to report events back to friends in Trier (Germany). He referenced the diaries to write this story for his grandchildren who would want to know about his early years in Britain and his service in the Western Army. There were tales of the wars with outsider groups such as the Visigoths as well as political intrigue within the Roman Empire resulting in civil wars. He mentions names that any Roman subject would know—Theodosius, Stilicho, and Alaric—and visited places where the emperors moved their capitals, Milan and Ravenna.

Even after conversion to Christianity, many Romans like Marcus still regarded omens as a sign of future events. An omen might be a significant birth/death, a name chosen by the newest emperor, or severe weather like a bora (a squall coming from the uplands) near the Adriatic that changed a battle’s outcome. A phrase often repeated by this Roman soldier turned historian is “the world would never be the same again.”

While Ranger bases many characters around historic persons, the main characters are fictional. Marcus, his family, friends, and co-soldiers are people the reader cares about. Their enemies become the reader’s foes also. Occasional graphic violence is included to give the flavor of the times. The creative elements of romance, violence, and intrigue, based around Ranger’s knowledge and detailed research, make this novel of nearly 700 pages the ideal material for film or television. As such, postponing a promised second volume to write a shortened screenplay could be in the future for this talented novelist.

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