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After thwarting the devious Lord Suma and becoming the emperor of Magadha, Ashoka now faces a new threat—a lethal foe whose only aim is to topple his empire. By slaughtering imperial officials, kidnapping royal prisoners and infiltrating the palace, the nemesis weaves a mesh of hatred, intrigue and menace. His identity is unknown, yet he breathes such terror that even dying men fear to utter his name. He calls himself the Khandapati. He provokes prison riots. He leads the Resistance. A poison witch and a murderous giant terrorise the people. What is the role of the vishkanya Daarya and the Pretnath? Who is the mysterious prisoner named Nirmukh? Caught in a vortex of death and deceit, there is only one man Ashoka can turn to. The Brahmin. Years of friendship and fealty lead the spymaster back to Magadha, only to be caught in a violent conspiracy that extends beyond the empire’s boundaries. Will he be able to live up to his role as Magadha’s protector or will the Khandapati prove to be more than a match for the Brahmin?