Gladiator meets Cormac McCarthy's The Road in the brilliant new thriller from the country's leading Ancient Rome expert.
AD265 - In the shadow of Mount Etna, slaves are rising up. As the rebel leader declares Sicily the new land of the free, men and women are slaughtered, and cities across the island are sacked and burned.
When a ship is wrecked off the island's west coast, all but two survivors are cut down in the surf by the rebel slaves. Ballista, an experienced Roman soldier, has always found a way to survive against the odds - but his son Marcus is still just a boy.
With the burning road stretching out ahead of them, father and son must cross the war-ravaged island in a race against time to save the rest of his family, and somehow find a way to extinguish the brutal rebellion, before it all goes up in flames.