Pendergast has taken Constance on a whirlwind Grand Tour, hoping to give her closure and a sense of the world that she's missed. They head to Tibet, where Pendergast intensively trained in martial arts and spiritual studies. At a remote monastery, they learn that a rare and dangerous artifact the monks have been guarding for generations has been mysteriously stolen. Pendergast agrees to take up the search.
The trail leads him and Constance to the maiden voyage of the Queen Victoria, the world's largest and most luxurious passenger liner-and to an Atlantic crossing fraught with terror.