When a fire rips through the Venetian Arsenal in 1569, the enigmatic Emanuele De Zante, spy-catcher and secret agent, is betrayed by his lover, imprisoned, and accused of treason. Given the chance to escape, he embarks on a trans-European odyssey that will test his loyalty and force him to question even his own identity.
Through a series of deadly political games leading all the way to the Sultan’s palace in Constantinople, De Zante and his companions spiral headfirst toward a conflict in which the great empires of the Republic of Venice and the Ottomans threaten the very foundations of civilization.
“Unputdownable” Ian Samson, Guardian
“A great historical thriller and the prose has all the surface glitter of the Grand Canal or the Golden Horn … this is perfect.” Edward Stourton, Financial Times
“A triumph of swashbuckling storytelling, a historical romp.” Sunday Telegraph
“Their books sizzle with a kind of lefty jazz: they’re linguistically and culturally hip, historically astute, with a heart worn challengingly on the sleeve.” Todd McEwan, Guardian
“Fans of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, grab it now.” Independent