Note: The author kindly offered an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review. A month has passed since the events recounted in Sword Dance. Damiskos has returned to Pheme while Varazda has come back to Boukos, but now Damiskos is coming for a visit and Varazda wonders what the ex-soldier will make of the odd little family he has created over the years living in Saffron Alley.
Damiskos is a retired army officer working for the quartermaster corps, since his parents spent the family fortune and the army doesn’t pay much in the way of retirement. He’s been sent to a seaside villa to negotiate the purchase of fish sauce from the owner, who happens to be an old friend from the capital city. It’s supposed to be a bit of a vacation, but on arrival he finds the house filled with philosophy students, and a businessman from a neighboring island-state who also has a captivating eunuch slave, Varazda.