Volume Two of The Hound and the Falcon Trilogy. The saga of Alfred of St. Ruan's comes to a tumultuous climax during the fall of the City of Cities, the Golden Horn: Constantinople. War is advancing through the Byzantine Empire. Its capital, Constantinople, is the richest city in the thirteenth century world. The crusaders from the West have turned aside from Jerusalem in order to plunder and conquer their fellow Christians instead. Alfred, pilgrim and healer, and Thea, friend an shapechanger, seek out Thea's family in that city, but they find her home empty and forgotten. In despair, Thea abandons Alfred, and he, in his despair, walks aimlessly until overcome by sunstroke. A Greek woman, Sophia, rescues him and brings him to her home in Constantinople. He remains there as a tutor to her Children and a friend to her and her husband. When well again, Alfred takes work in a house of healing, and though a man of the same race as the Crusaders, is accepted and valued by his Greek hosts.