Dr. Nicholas Segalla, a time-traveling scholar whose life spans centuries, meets again with pseudonymous historian Dukthas (A Time for the Death of a King, 1994), this time to explore the era of the French Revolution and the true fate of the young Dauphin Louis Charles, son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. The king's execution in 1793, soon followed by that of his queen, left the Dauphin and his sister Marie-ThÇräse incarcerated in Paris's Temple prison. The boy is said to have died in prison and been buried in a derelict's grave, but rumors persist of a substitute prisoner and of the Dauphin's escape. Fast forward to 1815. Segalla, in this incarnation, is a special emissary to Lord Liverpool, the English prime minister, who assigns him the job of finding what really happened to the Dauphin, because the Great Powers of Europe are determined to restore the Bourbons to the throne. Segalla arrives in Paris, where he meets the archivist Raoul Tallien. Together, they search every manuscript and letter relevant to their mission, and Segalla chases down and interviews every connection he can find to the prison staff and inmates at the crucial time, fighting off occasional attacks and ambushes by enemies he can only speculate about. The solution to his assignment may or may not convince the dazed reader--numbed by a repetitious chronicle of dates, places, plots, subplots, characters dead and alive, and endless minutiae of dress and decor. Only for the most ardent devotees of French history.