Gerrard (Wagons West!, 1996, etc.) takes on Goths and the Roman Empire with a uniquely upended story of twins. Maximus and his twin sister Vanilla are the child-slaves of the mean Slobbus Pompius. When he threatens to kill his unruly new horse, the children steal the horse and run away. Pursued by Slobbus and Roman soldiers, they hide with the kindly Spontanius and his wive, Chubbia, until the day of an annual chariot race, which they enter and win. During the award ceremony the barbarian Goths advance on the city; Spontanius and the others destroy the bridge to Rome, thus saving the city and earning their freedom. Told in rhyming verse, the genial book is inhabited by Gerrard's characteristically dwarfish people, living among extraordinarily detailed buildings.