The novel features a British boy who is captured on an ill-fated raid and becomes a companion slave for one Caligula. Who is four years old at the time. The Brit is several years older, so watches the emperor grow up. And fails to get himself killed by standing up to the young tyrant, thanks partly to some non-crazy members of this epileptic Caesar family.
It leaps time periods to several years later where he is old enough to save a slave girl from attack thanks to lessons from a large gladiator friend. Manages to nearly get crucified here though as one he kills is a Roman citizen. Being nice to the Emperor was definitely a good idea here.
Later, a well-known charioteer and Caligula as emperor goes completely crazy - the one person he won't have killed is one Brit slave.
3.5 out of 5