Ambrose and his friends flee for their lives from imperial Constantinople. The Grand Chamberlain wants them dead, and has dispatched an admiral and a fleet to dispose of them. The prince hopes to return to his native Wessex. Caught by pirates, they are enslaved on Crete, but manage to cause a slave rebellion and escape to Alexandria. The Byzantine fleet follows, and Ambrose is forced to flee across all of North Africa. They are forced to fight mercenaries, Tuareg raiders, and the open desert. Finally, a Muslim slave trader sneaks them into southern Italy, but even there the chase is far from over.