The soul trader was originally conceived as one book containing two stories of parallel lives: in two different eras, a great empire descends into violence and chaos, and one man survives and becomes rich by smuggling people away from the terrible conflicts that result.
What does he make of his good fortune? What mistakes does he make? And when he is sent back to relive his life again, will he make the same mistakes?
This made for a very long and complex story, so it was decided to publish this work as a two part series, the first part re-titled as ‘The Cardinal’s Hat’.