Her Frankish mother dead, 17-year-old Aemilia arrives at Soissons in Roman Gaul in search of her Roman father whom she has never met. She knows only that his name is Tarunculus and that he is a former centurion. She finds a firebrand, derided by the townsfolk, trying vainly to ignite a spark of patriotism in his fellow Romans. Soon, Aemilia is caught up in her father's schemes and the intrigues of the Roman nobility in Soissons. But in the end, which side will win her loyalty? In the war between Franks and Romans to decide the fate of the last province of the Western Empire, Providence will lead her down a path she could never have imagined.