Another book by Boris Akunin (Grigory Chkhartishvili), published under the pen-name Anatoly Brusnikin. This time fine literary pasticcio takes the readers to the Caucasus, the times of war with mountain populations. A young officer Mangarov comes to the Caucasus – one could hardly find a place better than war for building a meteorical career. Although, one can be killed here, but death is always less frightening in early years. But, instead of military affairs, Mangarov falls madly in love with Dasha Figner, a daughter of the local community commander. A mysterious former convict Nikitin appears here as well. And what is more, all the surroundings are rife with rumors concerning the near coming of at once Shamil himself and his loyal Khadji Murat.