The Burning Stone

The latest by author Jack Whyte is a tale of revenge, dark secrets, and a mysterious cataclysm that decimated a Roman legion.

Jack Whyte

Fleeing the massacre of his entire family save a single uncle, young Roman aristocrat Quintus Varrus arrives in fourth-century London not knowing who is to blame for the murders nor whom he can trust now. He fears for his life, but when he meets a young Irish woman named Lydia Mcuil, their lives quickly become intertwined and her father offers to set the young Roman up as a smith (under an Irish alias) in the town of Colchester while the young lovers get to know each other from a distance.

But the assassins haven't forgotten Quintus and a deadly ambush is barely thwarted, bringing the young Roman into friendship with his rescuer, a hardened former military policeman known as Rufus Cato, who has his own score to settle with the powerful man behind the attack. Quintus is introduced to the secrets of an ancient brotherhood that is trying to halt the rot that is destroying their beloved Empire — secrets that may finally reveal the identity of those who murdered his family, and expose the shocking reason why.

Set against the backdrop of a world in turmoil, this prequel to The Skystone, first in the Dream of Eagles series, is richly textured, intricately plotted, and filled with action and adventure: a perfect addition to the works of this master storyteller.(From Viking)

From the book

Young Quintus Varrus would never forget his grandfather's unexpected roar, for the oath was one the old man seldom used, saving it for special occasions.

Nor would he soon forget his father's reaction to it, for Marcus Varrus froze in mid-word, shocked into silence by the outrage in the old man's tone, and his eyes went wide in a way Quintus might have thought comical at any other time.

"Listen to yourself, man," his grandfather snarled. "You're puling like a baby, whining and whimpering like one of your Christian priests caught out in the streets alone, without an army of guttersnipes to back him up. Straighten up and behave like the man you should be. You're my son, by all the gods, a Roman legate, and I'll ask you to remember that — respect my dignity, at least, even if you show no consideration for your own."

From The Burning Stone by Jack Whyte ©2018. Published by Penguin Canada.

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