'The settlement consisted of a few cottages huddled in the mountain pass, pressed into a shelter of huge stone boulders. In the scarce pre-dawn light, the seven-year-old boy silently moved away from the last cabin and limped over to a spring, a bit more than a stone's throw away. A strong jet of rapid water burst from under a rock, falling over stones and small pools into a steep riverbed. Lan took heed of his wounded leg and carefully knelt down, then washed his face with the cold water. He shifted his weight onto his good knee, and pushed the left into the cool stream. The knee was badly bruised and swollen. The cold bite of the water made the skin above and below the knee sting, but it numbed the feeling in the swollen joint. He persisted.' 203BC For the Karnian people, in the idyllic mountain passes of the Eastern Alps, the Roman Empire is no longer a distant menace: the legions are massing on their borders. It is a time for leaders to step forward - to try through diplomacy to save their independence, and to ready the weapons of war should they fail. Lan is the son of one of those leaders - eager to ride in battle to defend his country. But he must also learn from his father and from the elders of his tribe that courage must be tempered with judgement, and that power alone is not enough. In doing so, he witnesses the forging of a new nation - the Kingdom of Noric. A powerful yet lyrical tale that combines the sweep of history with the human impact of empire and war.
Number of pages: 304
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
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