The story opens in the City of Peace, as Baghdad was once called. It is a fabulously wealthy city, receiving tribute from an empire that stretches from modern day Afghanistan to Spain. Abulhassan Ibn Thaher is an old pharmacist and alchemist who is an intimate friend of the Sultan. When the young prince of Persia falls in love with Schemselnihar, the Sultan's beloved mistress, they beg Abulhassan to help them elope. Even though it could mean death for all of them, Abulhassan relents and agrees to help. As rumor and gossip spread, different factions at court try to use the impending scandal for their own ends, and the story climaxes with the lovers' flight into the desert. With engaging characters and rich imagery drawn from alchemy, the Koran, and the early Islamic mystics, The Angel with A Hundred Wings is a literary masterpiece that captures all the magic and romance of the Middle East once upon a time.