Set in the Islamic Empire in 785 AD, a tale of power, war, love and religion unfolds. It begins with Arab Harun-al-Rashid becoming Caliph of the Empire. Harun soon falls in love with a Persian man, Ja'far, but is devastated to find the love is unrequited. Ja'far is in love with the Caliph's sister, Abassa. Harun allows the couple to marry, but forbids the consummation of the marriage. His order is defied and Abassa soon gives birth to twins. They have betrayed their absolute leader and will suffer the consequences. Catherine Hermary-Vieille explores the restrictions of life in the Islamic court and the traditional rites of marriage and religion. With the struggles of man and woman pervading the pages, The Grand Vizier of the Night - reissued a quarter of a century after Quartet Books first published the book in English - is a profound commentary on the human condition.