When reluctant, 11-year-old Nick is sent to live with his eccentric aunt in Damascus, Syria, he finds himself in a strange country with relatives he barely knows and no friends. Irritated and determined to be miserable, Nick is consoled by his aunt's large, white cat, Ajax-who talks and needs Nick's help to solve a centuries-old mystery.
Ajax pulls Nick into a remarkable journey of self-discovery and family secrets, confronting a string of surprising characters as they trip in and out of time, jaunting here and there through the old cities and fortresses of the Middle East and back alleys of Old Damascus. The more Nick and Ajax unravel the mystery, the more complicated things become. Will Nick's courage hold out as the stakes get higher? Will they solve the mystery before a powerful magic falls into the wrong hands?