The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

In this novel, four characters from different European countries and backgrounds live out their early lives and suffer from larger Byzantine plots and intrigues that sweep up their lives. Hywel Peredur, himself a wizard, is a descendant of a great Welsh wizard betrayed by the Byzantine Empire. Dimitrios Ducas, a mercenary, is the son of the governor of Burgundy in Gaul and the descendant of a deposed Byzantine emperor. Cynthia Ricci, a Florentine doctor in love with Lorenzo de’ Medici, is killed, along with members of her family, in a Byzantine plot to gain control of Italy. Gregory Von Bayern is a German vampire who has never infected a human and never killed, though he possesses a vast knowledge of guns and explosives.

The four characters meet in Milan, Italy. While trying to unravel a mysterious murder, they discover their mutual hatred of the Byzantine Empire and their desire to halt its spread westward across Europe. They decide to focus their attention on England, which, though politically turbulent under Edward IV after the Wars of the Roses, still remains free of Byzantine domination. The country is not free of scheming Byzantine pawns, all hoping to further their individual ends by casting their lots with the overarching Byzantine conspiracy for world domination, a domination abhorrent to the four friends.

Their various skills make them instrumental in challenging various Byzantine-connected forces determined to deliver England to...

(The entire section is 429 words.)