Spring, 266 BC.
When Isokrates, helmsman of the Rhodian warship Atalanta, encounters a pirate vessel off the Lycian coast, he finds himself caught up in affairs of state more deadly than the naval battles he's accustomed to. Among the pirates' victims is a beautiful woman, the mistress of a king, who is fleeing to her lover's enemy with news that will start a war to engulf the whole of the east . . .