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In January 532, mobs ruled Constantinople, capital of the Roman Empire. Against a backdrop lit by raging fires, John, Chamberlain to Emperor Justinian, must find those who would use the Nika Riots to dethrone the emperor. But are the ringleaders still in the city - or even alive?
Porphyrius, the famous charioteer, may know more than he tells about the disappearance of two men under imperial guard. What of the brothers with a distant claim on the throne? Or the headstrong young girl? Will General Belisarius and his armed troops side with the rioters or remain loyal to Justinian?
John must untangle a web of intrigue before the escalating violence in the streets removes all hope of finding those he seeks.