Walid was a model prince, handsome, intelligent, and skilled in the arts of warfare and poetry. But the kingdom boasted one greater poet than he, and out of jealousy Walid cursed the man to create an impossible work of art: a carpet showing the history of the entire human race. The poet died weaving it. Men went mad seeing it. And when it is stolen, Walid discovers his life's quest: to recover the carpet and earn forgiveness for his mistakes. His journey across the brilliant deserts of the Middle East leads him from a tribe of fierce bandits to the riches of Damascus to the love of a beautiful woman and finally to his own surprising destiny.