David Finebaum is an archeolinguist, or student of dead languages, in Jerusalem when he starts hearing one of those languages in his dreams, and then on the street. His desperate curiosity impels him on a perilous pilgrimage through Jerusalem into the Arab Quarters, where he survives a mixed reception. But the secret he pursues lies in the hands of a Bedouin tribe, and David must go. Reaching the tribe, he encounters Ghazayil, a girl he previously encountered in his dreams, and discovers his destiny. The characterization, lyrical prose, and pacing are nearly flawless, and readers close the book hoping that it is only the first in a new series.