The tears of Alexander shall flow, giving bread and freedom . . .
612 AD. Egypt, the jewel of the Roman Empire, seethes with unrest, as bread runs short and the Persians plot an invasion. In Alexandria, a city divided between Greeks and Egyptians by language, religion and far too few soldiers, the mummy of the Great Alexander, dead for nine hundred years, still has the power to calm the mob - or inflame it . . .
Aelric, the young British clerk who has become a senator and the trusted henchman of Emperor Heraclius, has come to Alexandria to send Egypt's harvest to Constantinople and to force the unwilling viceroy to give its land to the peasants. But the city - with its factions and conspirators - thwarts him at every turn. And when an old enemy from Constantinople arrives, supposedly on a quest for a religious relic that could turn the course of the Persian war, he will have to use all his cunning, his charm and his talent for violence to survive.