From one of the most admired literary voices of our time, a magical, riveting story of doomed love, set at the fall of Russia's last Tsar. St. Petersburg, 1917: As the new year dawns, a diver pulls the murdered body of Rasputin, the Mad Monk, from the icy waters of the Neva River. Hours later, his daughters are taken to the Tsar's palace as wards of the Romanovs, where the Tsarina makes a shocking request: would Masha, 18, take her father's place at the sickbed of the tsarevitch Alyosha? Shaken, Masha agrees to do what she can for the imperious young prince, haunted as she is by questions about her father's powers and her future in a country accelerating toward political apocalypse. Two months later, the Bolshevik Revolution forces the Tsar to abdicate, and the whole royal family is placed under arrest in the Alexander Palace.