This is the fourth book in the Belisarius Series. In it, the past is changed by a crystal entity from the future that wants to crush out individuality. It is starting by using the Indian Malwa Empire to attack towards Rome. A second entity, Aide is sent to Belisarius, Rome’s best general, to fight it.
Having parried the last year’s campaign by destroying the Malwa supply fleet, Belisarius has a new problem. The main army is still in Mesopotamia and ready to move out, but the second Malwa army is approaching through the mountains. This one is smaller, but has better troops and generals. Also, it is aided by the Roman traitor the eunuch Narses and has an excellent spy network. A stalemate is not an option.
In other fronts, there are problems. Malwa agents kill most of the royal family of Roman ally Axum in Ethiopia, leaving young Eon, a friend of Belisarius in charge with rebellion in Arabia to quell. And in India, Empress Shakuntala has to decide which prince to marry to gain the power to take the fight to Malwa and save Rao in the city of Deogiri.
Belisarius has a plan, though – to turn one Malwa army against them and destroy the other utterly. And will risk losing every man in his army to do it!