A very involved and somewhat mannered translation from the German. The story of an imaginary principality during the Naloleonic ""terror"" -- a kingdom used as a pawn in the game between France, Poland, Germany, Russia. The chief weapon was the beauty of their women, and the prince married them off to solve his political tangles, now to a Russian prince, now to a general in Napoleon's army. But the sister of the reigning monarch and her chum upset the applecart. Colorful enough, but not convincingly so; confused and overcrowded with political aspects; slim pickings. Most shops could pass it up.