In a Russia where the Decembrists' rebellion was successful and the
Trans-Siberian railroad was completed before 1854, Sasha Trubetskaya wants
nothing more than to have a decent debut ball in St. Petersburg. But her aunt's
feud with the emperor lands Sasha at university, where she becomes one of its
first female students - an experiment, she suspects, designed more to
prove female unsuitability for such pursuits than offer them education. The
pressure intensifies when Sasha's only friends - Chinese students -
start disappearing, and she begins to realize that her new British companion,
Jack, has bigger secrets than she can imagine! Sasha and Jack find themselves
trying to stop a war brewing between the three empires. The only place they can
turn to for help is the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace, newly founded by the
Taiping rebels. Pursued by the terrifying Dame Florence Nightingale of the
British Secret Service, Sasha and Jack escape across Siberia via train to China.
Sasha discovers that Jack is not quite the person she thought he was...but then
again, neither is she.