Book V of the Rome series. The leaders of Rome grow ever more frightened and yet more obdurate: Caesar, brilliant and ruthless, must be crushed and sent into exile before he can overthrow the government and set himself up as a dictator. In Gaul, Caesar is engaged in conquest of the fierce and brave Gauls The battles are titanic and evenly matched – yet no Gallic prince has the ambition of Caesar. When Cato and the Senate refuse to give Caesar his due, he crosses the river Rubicon and marches on his country, his army prepared to die for him at his back. But between Caesar and victory stands the ageing Pompey the Great, who must marshal the forces of the Republic and pit himself against the one man he knows cannot be beaten on a field of war. This is the first recorded instance of a modern common fiasco – how impossible it is for generals to wage war while constrained by militarily inept politicians. In the midst of it all, life goes on: Caesar, his women and the personal tragedies which make his life lonelier, yet the Rubicon easier to cross; Pompey and his last two wives, a bitter contrast; Brutus and his cousin Porcia, learning to love; Gaius Cassius, fresh from saving Syria from the Parthians; and the great advocate Cicero, recording history in letters to his friends.