Turkmenistan 1881: Beneath the citadel of Geok Tepe sits a prisoner. He hasn't moved from his chair for two years, hasn't felt the sun on his face in more than fifty, but he is thankful for that. The city is besieged by Russian troops and soon falls. But one Russian officer has his own reason to be here. Colonel Otrepyev marches into the underground gaol, but for the prisoner it does not mean freedom, simply a new gaoler; an old friend, now an enemy. They return to Russia to meet an older enemy still.
In Saint Petersburg, the great vampire Zmyeevich waits as he has always waited. He knows he will never wield power over Tsar Aleksandr II, but the tsarevich will be a different matter. When Otrepyev delivers the prisoner into his hands, Zmyeevich will have everything he needs. Then all that need happen is for the tsar to die.
But it is not only the Otrepyev and his captive who have returned from Geok Tepe. Another soldier has followed them, one who cares nothing for the fate of the tsar, nor for Zmyeevich, nor for Otrepyev. He has only one thing on his mind - revenge.
And it's not just Zmyeevich who seeks the death of the tsar. Aleksandr's faltering steps towards liberty have only made the people hungry for more, and for some the final liberty will come only with the death of the dictator. They have tried and failed before, but the tsar's luck must desert him one day. Soon he will fall victim to a group that has vowed to bring the Romanov dynasty to a violent end - a group that calls itself The People's Will.Klappentext:
The next moment he was upon him, his eyes blazing, his mouth open to reveal his fangs.
Osokin began to pray, not that he would live but that he would truly die . . .
Turkmenistan 1881: the fortress city of Geok Tepe has fallen to the Russians.
Beneath its citadel sits a prisoner. He hasn't moved from his chair for two years. Neither has he felt the sun on his face for more than fifty . . . although for that he is grateful.
Into this subterranean gaol marches a Russian officer. He has come for the captive. Not to release him, but to return him to St Petersburg - to deliver him into the hands of an old, old enemy who would visit damnation upon the ruling family of Russia: the great vampire Zmyeevich . . .
But there is another who has escaped Geok Tepe and followed the prisoner. He is not concerned with the fate of the tsar, or Zmyeevich or the officer. All he desires is revenge.
And other forces have a part to play. A group of revolutionaries has vowed to bring the dictatorship of Tsar Aleksandr to an end, and with it the entire Romanov dynasty. They call themselves The People's Will . . .
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