In 1683, the historic siege of Vienna by the Turks and Tartars terrorized Christian Europe. Eeriness pervades the atmosphere, when a ""noseless, earless stranger"" stops to talk to Andreas Thanradl, a young German boy. Suddenly terror reigns, when the Thanradl mansion goes up in flames during the night. Young Andreas sets out to find the weird stranger whom he believes is an instigator of the fire. His travels take him to Vienna where he is taken under the wing of an old Count. The Count, a servant, and Andreas soon flee from the approaching Turks and Tartars, and Andreas begins searching for his mother whom he has ""misplaced"" along the way. He again encounters the stranger, who is the leader of a notorious group of bandits, and in the midst of a confused, three-way battle among bandits, Turks, and Austrians, a conclusion is reached. There is material here which should make exciting reading, but, in spite of the translator, the book remains highly Teutonic in its extreme verbosity and ceaseless repetition.