The author of Sons of the Steppe and The World of the Pharaohs creates another panoramic view of life in ancient times. With two wide-eyed youngsters as his only audience, an old man muses in retrospect on his boyhood and becomes increasingly involved as he relates the horrendous adventures he encountered as a young soldier in Hannibal's march from Sagantum to Rome. The boy was only 12 when Suru the elephant prodded him to life after the burning of his beloved city. Given protection and comfort by Carthalo, Hannibal's great elephant driver, he mounts Suru and proceeds along one of the most incredible routes in history. Over the Pyrenees and later the Alps, through dangerous ravines and floods into bloody clashes with Romans, the Carthaginians made their way. In the light of modern geography Hannibal's march can stretch credibilities. But in Hans Baumann's interpretation it becomes one of the most realistic victories ever attained by man over the barriers of environment. How the war between Carthage and Rome began, how the great leader inspired men to follow him play secondary roles to the events of the march. The elephants are the heroes and Suru the star. Ulrik Schramm's dramatic poses of these bulbous creatures, living and dying through it all adds a special note of excitement to a first rate novel.