If given the choice to kill the Pontianak—the most powerful and fearsome vampire the world has ever known—or to try to save its soul, which would you choose? The answer is unclear for fifteen-year-old Nadya, a Romani gypsy living in 1742 Europe. She and her band of revolutionary friends want to save their race by implementing the written word, a practice long forbidden, in order to minimize the inbreeding that has led to so many of the children in their culture being born mentally and/or physically disabled. But it is difficult to maintain her façade of compliance when the Pontianak, an ancient creature whom she has managed to pacify temporarily through newfound magic, implores her to set her spirit free so that she can no longer be summoned by the usual proprietors who seek war and avarice from her. As the world around Nadya falls apart, the only solace she can find is in her nieces, her nephew, and Pavel, the mysterious stranger from the other side of the border with whom she is falling in love. But, when another danger plaguing the land starts to go after them, what will she do? After all, Nadya is not the only one keeping secrets.