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It's 1518 and the Catholic Church is under attack from a man named Martin Luther while the Spanish Empire extends its bloodthirsty rule across the world against the wishes of arch-rival, Portugal. The Line of Demarcation divides the world between Portugal and Spain but no one knows on which side the fabulous Spice Isles lie; least of all the inhabitants of those islands. Only one man has the knowledge, experience, talent and determination to settle the question: Ferdinand Magellan, hated both in Spain and his native Portugal. Antonio Pigafetta, former ambassador of the Holy See to the royal court of imperial Spain, casts his lot with a captain set up to fail. Himself beset by religious conflict, Pigafetta has no idea what he is letting himself in for. Mutiny, murder, shipwreck, and wars of religion are only part of it but Pigafetta retains his humanity and loyally serves the Captain General to the end.

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