In this highly anticipated sequel, John Madison travels to London to purchase at auction a rare seventeenth-century Italian book of fairy tales for an anonymous client. Madison is warned about the book's malevolent history. but before he can deliver it to the buyer, he is robbed by a mysterious man claiming to be the book's author. When his client disappears and the book's provenance is questioned, Madison must immerse himself in the world of European artistocracy and rare book collectors. As the dark origins of certain fairy tales appear to come to life around him, Madison discovers that a well-loved children's story contains a necromancer's spell and points to the source of a deadly Mespotamian plague.