Cí, a young scholar-turned-gravedigger in medieval China, has survived enough horrors and pain to last several lifetimes. He finally has the chance to return to his studies - only to receive orders from the Imperial Court to find the sadistic perpetrator of a series of brutal murders. With lives in jeopardy, Cí finds his gruesome investigation complicated by his old loyalties - and by his growing desire for the enigmatic beauty haunting his thoughts. Is he skilled enough to track down the murderer? Or will the killer claim him first?
"A serious disappointment"
In eighth-century Austrasia, a spirited girl in the town of Würzburg brashly defies convention by pursuing the time-honored art of parchment-making. But Theresa's dreams are shattered when unimaginable tragedy strikes, forcing her to flee and tearing her family apart. Set adrift as a fugitive, Theresa relies on her uncommon education and the sympathy of strangers to survive. When she encounters Alcuin of York, a shrewd and influential monk with close ties to King Charlemagne, she hopes her luck might have finally changed. Yet all is not what it seems.
"Couldn't stop listening."