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Synopsis

Jane Finnis has definitely succeeded in rooting the narrative in Roman Britain from the interesting and refreshing imagined viewpoint of a colonist who feels herself to have acquired roots in the new province.... The overall impression is vivid and convincing, thanks to a lively but disciplined use of historical imagination.'' - Professor W. Horbury, Cambridge University Junius pulled back the travelling-cloak further than I'd done. ''It looks as though his money-belt is still there as well, under his tunic. Wait a bit though, what's this? What do you suppose....'' He pointed to a small bone disc, attached by a crude bronze pin to the front of the blue tunic. Just an ordinary looking object, some kind of official medallion or pass perhaps, the sort couriers often wear. But when Junius unpinned it and began to read it, he caught his breath, and when he turned the disc over, he swore. ''What is it?'' I held out my hand and took the little disc. On one side was a rough drawing of a skull, with the words ''Shadow of Death'' written below it. On the other were a few crudely scratched Latin words: ALL ROMANS WILL BE KILLED GET OUT OR DIE We stared at it blankly. It might have been in Carthaginian for all the sense it made. It sounds strange now, but at first it didn't seem frightening, just weird. Of course if I'd known what it meant, if I'd had any idea of the trouble it would bring us.... But how could I? How could any of us?

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