1248 AD. King Louis of France is about to invade Egypt on his vainglorious Seventh Crusade. Pope and Emperor are fighting for mastery over Christendom. And where greed and ambition cross, blood soon follows. When his oldest friend is killed in broad daylight, Petroc of Auneford - former relic-hunter turned respectable Venetian banker and married man - knows someone's trying to send him a deadly message. Called upon from all sides to do their bidding, and surviving in a viper's nest of greed and treachery, Petroc must guard his secrets closely if he wants to stay alive. He becomes a reluctant Crusader as he tries to save the woman he loves, find a way to real freedom, and all the while, cling on to a precious dream of home ...