Mexico, 1517. The Emperor Montezuma rules the known world. Daily canoes and trains of sweating bearers carry tribute to his capital, while squadrons of ruthless warriors enforce his will. The temples run with the blood of human sacrifice. But Montezuma is troubled. Mysterious strangers have appeared in the East. Visions and rumours disturb his dreams. The soothsayers he turns to for guidance give him only enigmatic answers and he knows he cannot trust his advisers – especially his unscrupulous Chief Minister. Yaotl, the Chief Minister’s slave, is worried too. The sacrificial victim he was escorting on his last journey has run amok, uttering bizarre and sinister prophecies and taking his own life before the priests could cut out his heart. The Emperor scents a connection with the soothsayers who have vanished from his impregnable prison – and orders Yaotl to find it. His master, meanwhile, will stop at nothing – including murder – to keep it hidden. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Yaotl realises he needs answers soon. The secrets he uncovers will unlock nightmares from his own youth – and threaten the future of everything he knows… In this gripping murder mystery, intrigue, drama, treachery and romance combine with historical fact and a potent imagination to bring to life the strange and brutal world of the Aztecs in all its fascinating, terrible splendour.