Sor Lucrezia di Marchionni, a Florentine nun, leads a mission to Hayti, Spain's first American colony, two decades after its 'discovery' by Christopher Columbus. But she also has a secret assignment - to find out if the passage through to Asia depicted on a world map published by the German cartographer Martin Waldseem▄ller actually exists. On the island, she meets up with Fray Hugo de Montenegro, a Dominican monk who has been there for several years and has been collecting accounts of Spanish atrocities. Their investigations bring them into contact with Ta═no freedom fighters and their allies, escaped African slaves who had been imported to work on the new sugar plantations, as well as to the attention of the brutal colonial authorities. The story unfolds against the background of the horrors of the Spanish Conquest of the Americas, the destruction of its original peoples, the commencement of the Atlantic slave trade and the beginnings of globalisation with the foundation of the Spanish Empire.