In this final book if the Winternight Trilogy, one of the primary antagonists, Father Konstantin, takes the lead during the first half of the book in propelling the action forward. Through Konstantin, Vasya is captured and tortured. In the previous books, Konstatin was annoying, a fly. This time around he is a menace and completely turns to the dark side.
Historical events are tied in through the ongoing conflict between Russia and the Tartars. The Tartars are the other major nemesis and prove to be an interesting subplot as Vasya fights to save her family, her country, and the magical creatures, the chyerti, of Russia.