This story concerns a young man, Alexios, who is in his early twenties. He is given the responsibility of commanding a unit in Germany, but when the German hordes threaten his fort, he decides to leave. It turns out to be a terrible mistake. As punishment, he is sent north to what is now Scotland to command a unit known as the “Frontier Wolves”. Again, his fort is overrun by the local tribes, and he has to choose whether to stay or go.
As usual, Ms. Sutcliff’s wonderful prose lifts this novel beyond the ordinary, even though a great deal of the novel (like her others) has to do with the day-to-day ordinariness of everyday life. 5 stars.