Cassio may have the ear and favor of Emperor Antoninus, but it's made him more enemies than friends: his aunt's former lover, the Praetorian guardsman Erytheos; the powerful Senator Lernus, father of Cassio's childhood enemy Livion; and even Cassio's faithful former slave Alva. Once she's freed, she joins a plot to take down the very emperor Cassio is trying to save. But Cassio isn't all alone. He's reunited with an old flame, the Apis priestess Oasis. With their rekindled passions, Cassio's magic powders, and the ability of Oasis to see the future, will they triumph over Rome's many traps and betrayals?