Venice, 1498. The labyrinthine city is echoing with gossip and greed - hidden within it is an ancient book, said to contain the key to immeasurable power. From out of the turmoil, mischievous street orphan Luciano finds himself working in th kitchens of the doge's opulent palace. There, amidst the corruption and intrigue at Venice's heart, the boy witnesses sinister rituals that lead him to suspect the fabled book is close at hand. But lurking in the palace corridors, and the dangerous, twisting alleys of the world's most mysterious city, are men who would kill for Luciano's knowledge . . .