Guy Gavriel Kay, the international bestselling and multiple award-winning author of The Fionavar Tapestry, brings his unique storytelling imagination to an alternate Byzantine world…
Sarantium is the golden city: holy to the faithful, exalted by the poets, jewel of the world and heart of an empire.
Caius Crispus, known as Crispin, is a master mosaicist, creating beautiful art with colored stones and glass. Still grieving the loss of his family, he lives only for his craft—until an imperial summons draws him east to the fabled city. Bearing with him a Queen’s secret mission and seductive promise, and a talisman from an alchemist, Crispin crosses a land of pagan ritual and mortal danger, confronting legends and dark magic.
Once in Sarantium, with its taverns and gilded sanctuaries, chariot races and palaces, intrigues and violence, Crispin must find his own source of power in order to survive. He finds it, unexpectedly, high on the scaffolding of his own greatest creation.