1164. The young warrior Saladin joins a Saracen army headed for Egypt. He finds there a land of wonders - from the ancient pyramids and the towering lighthouse of Alexandria, to the caliph's luxurious palace - but also a land of unparalleled danger. In Egypt, no one can be trusted, not even his family. Saladin is surrounded by enemies and haunted by a secret that threatens to destroy him.Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, Saladin's closest friend, the former crusader John of Tatewic, has been branded traitor. Spared execution on condition that he serves King Amalric, he soon finds himself embroiled in court intrigue. Dark forces within Jerusalem conspire to seize the throne. As John confronts them, his loyalty to Amalric, and to his old friend Saladin, is put to the test.