In 1606, the grand city of Prague hides an ugly secret: the emperor's bastard son, Don Julius, is afflicted with a madness that pushes the prince to unspeakable depravity. Banished to a remote corner of Bohemia, Don Julius comes under the care of a bloodletter who works to purge the vicious humors coursing through the young royal's veins. When the prince meets the bloodletter's daughter Marketa, his madness sparks a frenzied--and dangerous--obsession.
He believes Marketa embodies the women from the Coded Book of Wonder, a priceless manuscript from the imperial library that was the young prince's only link to sanity. As the prince descends further into the darkness of his mind, his acts become ever more desperate, and Marketa, both frightened and fascinated, can't stay away. Inspired by a true murder that rocked the Hapsburg dynasty, The Bloodletter's Daughter is a dark and richly detailed saga of passion and revenge.