It is history's most feared disease. It turned neighbor against neighbor, the civilized into the savage, and the living into the dead. Now, in a spellbinding novel of adventure and science, romance and terror, two eras are joined by a single trace of microscopic bacterium—the invisible seeds of a new bubonic plague. In the year 1348, a disgraced Spanish physician crosses a landscape of horrors to Avignon, France. There, he will be sent on an impossible mission to England, to save the royal family from the Black Death…. Nearly seven hundred years later, a woman scientist digs up a clod of earth in London. In a world where medicine is tightly controlled, she will unearth a terror lying dormant for centuries. From the primitive cures of the Middle Ages to the biological police state of our near future, The Plague Tales is a thrilling race against time and mass destruction. For in 2005, humankind's last hope for survival can come only from one place: out of a dark and tortured past.