In the scorching heat of the Turanian summer, Thraxas is doing his best to avoid working. His plans for a spell of uninterrupted beer drinking go wrong when the Civil Guards arrest a man for murder, right in Thraxas's office. Outraged at this insult to his dignity, Thraxas goes into action. Soon he finds himself in the middle of a deadly war between rival bands of warrior monks. The situation becomes more complicated when a consignment of the King's gold goes missing. To add to his difficulties, Makri decides to shelter to a wanted criminal, which attracts unwanted attention from the city authorities. Worse, Sarin the Merciless is back in town, and the bodies are piling up at an alarming rate. This is a new edition, with an introduction by the author.