Third in this outstanding historical fantasy series, the story picks up thirty years after Thirteen Years Later with Aleksei Danilovís children taking up the story. Dmitry Danilov, a Colonel in the Russian army is busy facing off against both French and British forces but they may prove the least of his problems as a far more sinister foe reappears after thirty years. The horrors of the Crimean War pale in comparison to the brutal murders taking place in Moscow and remembering his fatherís experiences, Dmitry knows Vasiliy Innokyentievich Yudin and others of his kind are using the war as a screen for their bloody activities. Working for the government, Dmitryís sister Tamara who reports to the Third Section in Moscow has been exposed to some of the worst warfare has to offer, yet even she is stunned by ferocity of the murders.
While lacking some of the inventiveness of the two previous series titles, this solid entry continues to build upon the characters while tying the story into real world events. Both siblings have old secrets that will be revealed as events twist and turn through issues of revenge, murder and backstabbing that keeps pages turning to the end. With all the background and history, readers new to the series will want to start with Twelve, the first book rather then trying to just start in.