Sold by his father for four guineas, Patrick Devlin was working as a servant to Royal Navy Captain John Coxon when he was catpured by pirates. Now, Devlin has himself become one of the most feared pirates in the world - and Coxon his most bitter foe. But in this thrilling new historical adventure it is not gold that Devlin is chasing, but something even more valuable. The early 18th Century is obsessed with the flavours of the New World - coffee and chocolate. And only one material enables the kings, queens and rising middle classes of Europe to drink without burning their fingers on the handles of their cups - Chinese porcelain. In a brilliant conspiracy story reaching from the unknown empires of the East to the restless new colonies of America, a letter has gone missing. In the letter lies the formula for the manufacture of Chinese porcelain, and whoever can find the letter can name his price - and even change the course of history, by enriching the nation that owns the secret. Valentim Mendes, a Portugese noble who has crossed swords with Devlin before, now seeks to blackmail him into finding the letter. And wherever Devlin goes, his nemesis Coxon is never far behind.