It could be the lamps flickering. It could be the dark, damp, starless sky. But Claudia had the strangest feeling that wretched lovesick ghost was back to haunt her: The one whose name was Trouble . . . Had it not been for the enraged money lender and his pack of dogs nipping at her heels, Claudia Seferius would never have found the abandoned little boy called Jovi . . .
With the Empire in Crisis and insurrection looming, it wasn't a safe time for either a rich young widow or a weeping child to be out after dark, for five slave girls have already been brutally murdered by a killer who strikes only on market day. The victims are linked by the dragon tattoo they each wear on their arms . . . and which marks them out as the 'Children of Arbil'. But Arbil is no loving father as Claudia is about to find out . . .