The Byzantine Empire rules in Southern Italy, but the indigenous populations are restless. The Lombards are no exception to this. One of their numbers, Arduin of Fassano, is appointed by a young Byzantine general to hold the key to Apulia. He is unaware that Arduin intends to join his Lombard brethren and rise up in revolt, hiring to aid him the Norman mercenaries of Campania. Led by William de Hauteville, the eldest of five mercenary brothers, the Normans cross into Apulia intent on more than aiding revolt: they are seeking land and titles for themselves. Will the might of the Byzantine Empire crush Arduin's Lombard revolt? Or will the treachery that stalks the lands favour the Normans?
©2009 David Donachie (P)2011 Soundings