Picaresque adventure pattern for a strange, symbolic story of good and evil at war in the person of the heroine, a beautiful young novice who disappears from the convent on the eve of taking her vows, and who wanders, in triumph, in suffering, in bewilderment through a world torn asunder by wars and revolutions. The period is the late 18th, early 19th century Superstition, faith, credulity, mysticism -- all form part of the acceptance of ""the last miracle"" -- for in the place of the erring sister, the figure of the Virgin made flesh labors in silence, until Megildis, fleeing the bitter penalty of her escape, seeks sanctuary at her shrine. The years between, Megildis' acceptance of the worship of men, her seemingly deliberate choice of evil if it could bring her worldly success in music which is her chosen path, the earthly experience which is hers, and the men, particularly the noble Adrian, the wily Marcel- her evil genius, build a full canvas for an intricately patterned story. Much of the action takes place in Paris of the Terror; the other settings and happenings are confused, shadowy. The story is overlong, and it demands full acceptance on the part of the reader -- and intense concentration as the many -colored threads are woven in intricate pattern.