Tumanbay, the beating heart of a vast empire, is threatened by a rebellion in a far-off province and a mysterious force devouring the empire from within. An epic medieval thriller inspired by the Mamluk slave rulers of Egypt, set in the most powerful city on earth. A story of slaves, spies, armies, betrayals, assassinations, deserts and plagues.
Accused of hoarding heretical text, Ibn the slave trader must face trial by the regime’s religious courts. Despite news of a threat of plague, the Inquisitor Barakat, continues his mission to cleanse the city of heretics. He chooses Gregor to assist him.
Whilst the Sultan dreams of victory against the mysterious Maya and her followers, Gregor is in pursuit of missing slave-girl Sarah and must venture into the catacombs beneath the city, haven to those who wish to escape the brutality of the city above.
There has been a murder in the palace. Gregor, the Sultan's spymaster, attempts to unlock the secret to the missing reliquary and discover why it is worth killing for. In the desert, Heaven and her slave companion are held captive by a nomadic tribe.
Adrift at sea in a small boat and hostage to an escaped slave, pampered daughter of slave merchant Ibn, must grow up quickly to survive. So too must Madu, the spoilt nephew of the Sultan, who has been forced to swap palace life for hardships in the army.