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Hannibal's campaign to defeat Rome continues. Having brought his army safely over the Alps in winter, he now marches south to confront the enemy. With him is a young soldier, Hanno. Like his general, Hanno burns to vanquish Rome. Never has the possibility seemed so likely.
Facing Hanno is his former friend, Quintus, whom Hanno met while in Roman captivity. A bitter quarrel with his father led Quintus to join the Roman infantry under an assumed name. Among his legionaries, he finds that his enemies are not just the Carthaginians, but men of his own side.
A stealthy game of cat and mouse is being played, with Hannibal seeking to fight, and Rome's generals avoiding battle. But battle cannot be delayed for much longer. Eventually, the two armies meet under a fierce summer sun in August in the south of Italy. The place is Cannae-the fields of blood. The encounter will go down in history as one of the bloodiest battles ever fought, a battle in which Hanno and Quintus know they must fight as never before-just to stay alive.