Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2014. The City of Silk is restless, its people suffering in the grip of corruption. Then, one hot July evening, The Leader gathers his followers, a brotherhood of half-trained men and boys, and storms the House of Power. Together they intend to take back what they believe is rightfully theirs. Caught up in the mayhem is quiet, scholarly Ashes. He had been inspired by The Leader's charisma, but now that words have turned to action he's not so sure about this insurrection. And trapped with the rebel boy soldiers is government minister Aspasia Garland. The mother of a son the same age as the teenage gunmen, she sees much of her child in these boys with guns. As the siege continues, the city holds its breath. For what happens over the next six days will change the small island's future forever...