Tricked into giving his word by a dishonorable man’s maneuvering, Prince Szigismond Emre Janos Rackoszi, Viceroy of Transylvania, is honor-bound to marry a woman he doesn’t love. He’s also required to gather to the bosom of his family the man’s widow, and mother of his intended, who despises him. The silly creature believes he’s a revenant, a vampire bent on making her daughter one as well, and she vows to see him staked and in his grave before she gives her daughter to him. But the prince isn’t soulless or undead, nor does he drain humans of blood. No, Prince Szigismond Emre Janos Rackoszi is a very different creature altogether.
As he paces the corridors of his dark castle, awaiting the arrival of the artist hired to paint miniatures of himself and his bride-to-be, he prays to the ancient gods to help him figure a way to break his promise without losing his honor.
The gods respond to his plea, sending Baroness Beatrix Celine Baranyi, a most unusual artist who carries a saber, rides as if she were a mythical minotaur, and dresses as a Csiko, a Hungarian cowboy. Solving the riddle of the gods’ reply before he binds himself to a woman he’ll never love will take all of his considerable powers.