Domitlla and the Goddess by Anthony Horne
Approx. 48,140 words.
Published on December 7, 2011 by
In the late first century A.D. at the port of Ostia near Rome, a young lad, Ixus, works on the docks. He lives on his wits and learns about death the hard way. By chance he obtains employment at the Emperor's menagerie, where beasts are held before being taken to the Colosseum.