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The third novel in Jasper Kent's enthralling, chilling and acclaimed historical vampire sequence -- The Danilov Quintet.
Russia 1855. After forty years of peace in Europe, war rages. In the Crimea, the city of Sevastopol is besieged. In the north, Saint Petersburg is blockaded. But in Moscow there is one who needs only to sit and wait -- wait for the death of an aging tsar, and for the curse upon his blood to be passed to a new generation.
As their country grows weaker, a brother and sister -- each unaware of the other's existence -- must come to terms with the legacy left them by their father. In Moscow, Tamara Valentinovna Lavrova uncovers a brutal murder and discovers that it is not the first in a sequence of similar crimes, merely the latest, carried out by a killer who has stalked the city since 1812.
And in Sevastopol, Dmitry Alekseevich Danilov faces not only the guns of the combined armies of Britain and France, but must also make a stand against creatures that his father had thought buried beneath the earth, thirty years before.
Aleksandr made a silent promise to the Lord. God would deliver him--would deliver Russia--and he would make Russia into the country that the Almighty wanted it to be. He would be delivered from the destruction that wasteth at noonday, and from the pestilence that walketh in darkness--the terror by night...
1825, Europe--and Russia--have been at peace for ten years. Bonaparte is long dead and the threat of invasion is no more. For Colonel Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, life is peaceful. Not only have the French been defeated but so have the twelve monstrous creatures he once fought alongside, and then against, ten or more years ago. His duty is still to serve and to protect his tsar, Aleksandr the First, but now the enemy is human.
However the Tsar knows that he can never be at peace. Of course, he is aware of the uprising fermenting within the Russian army--among his supposedly loyal officers. No, what troubles him is something that threatens to bring damnation down upon him, his family and his country. The Tsar has been reminded of a promise: a promise born of blood...a promise that was broken a hundred years before.
Now the one who was betrayed by the Romanovs has returned to exact revenge for what has been denied him. And for Aleksei, knowing this chills his very soul. For it seems the vile pestilence that once threatened all he believed in and all he held dear has returned, thirteen years later...
Twelve is the story of Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, a captain in the army of Tsar Alexander I, sworn to defend Russia against the onslaught of Napoleon's Grande Armée in the autumn of 1812. He joins forces with a band of twelve Wallachian mercenaries, whose zeal and success in slaughtering the French invaders seem too good to be true.
Soon, Aleksei unearths the gruesome secret behind the Wallachians' abilities, and discovers that they make little distinction between Frenchman or Russian. His fight becomes not simply one against Napoleon, but against a far more dangerous enemy.