Barely 19, Danish Princess Minnie marries the Romanov heir, Alexander, and once he ascends the throne, she becomes empress. When resistance to his reign strikes at the heart of her family and Tsar Alexander sets out to crush all who oppose him, Minnie—now called Maria—must tread a perilous path of compromise in a country she has come to love. Her husband's death leaves their son Nicholas as the inexperienced ruler of a crumbling empire. In time, Maria faces opposition from Nicholas's strong-willed wife, Alexandra, whose fervor has led her into a disturbing relationship with a mystic named Rasputin. As the unstoppable wave of revolution rises anew to engulf Russia, Maria will face her most dangerous challenge and her greatest heartache.