Gerardo, formerly Bishop of the city of Nessuna in medieval Italy, writes his memoirs as he listens to the muezzin's call to prayer in the city of Lamakan. Exiled by his boyhood friend, Pietro, who has risen to power in Nessuna, Gerardo knows details of too many things that Pietro would sooner remain hidden. Gerardo's friends tell him of the arrival of an angel in Lamakan, expecting him to be overjoyed, but he fears for his life, believing the angel to be Azrael, the messenger of death. The truth is even stranger. Angels Unawares tells of treachery, deceit, and a man's growing comprehension of his place in creation.