The year is 1272 A.D. and the setting is Byzantium during the twilight years of its existence. Sixty-eight years earlier, the city was sacked and has since worked itself back into prominence. Byzantium is once again in danger as they are surrounded on all sides by the Ottomans, Saladin and his infidels, a horde of barbarian tribes, and the mighty Venetian Empire.
Amid this stressful situation is a murder that is featured in the novel’s prologue. A respected man named Bessarion is killed, allegedly by two young men named Antoninus and Justinian. What makes this so shocking is the fact that all three were extremely adverse to any talk of a proposed unio