Aurepas, a small town in the southwest of France, in the
Senso and Pierrino are seven-year-old twins who live in
an old bourgeois house with Jiliane, their younger sister; she is four
and does not speak. The twins have just been confirmed into the
Geminite faith, which is the faith of most of
Europe: it began in Judea with Jesus and his twin sister Sophia, and
its most sacred rites — Suspension, and Sublimation — are
The children lost their parents in a tragic accident
when Jiliane was born, and they are brought up by their grandfather
Sigismond Garance, a successful merchant and also something of a
philosopher, with the help of domma Castelet and dom Patenaude, the
mage-ecclesiasts of their parish. Of course, there is also Grandmother
— and her five cats — but she never gets out of her
chambers, and the children never go in. They only see her twice a day
to say good morning and good night. She is... different, like her
servant. She doesn't look like everybody else.
One Sunday morning, coming back from the Temple, the
children see a window they have never noticed on the second floor of
their house's facade. No room corresponds to that extra window. While
looking for the elusive room, they discover a magical map, which
carries Senso, then Pierrino, somehere else when they poke it with a
sharp letter opener - although not moving them physically. Their
curiosity is awakened by all this and during their inquiries they
discover some strange things about their house, and their ancestors,
especially Gilles, the traveller, the explorer, the one who went "Over
There", in the country no one speaks of. But Jiliane, who is the first
one to enter Grandmother's appartments, already knows that magic is
part of the family mysteries.
Meanwhile, we also follow the life and times of Gilles
Garance, in the 16th century — a story quite different from the
one the twins, and apparently everybody else, think they know.
In the old house in Aurepas, Jiliane, Senso and Pierrino
are growing up. The golden thread by which they are linked is not as
painful now as is used to be, but it is still there. They gradually
discover that the history of their family, the Garances, is fraught
with much more mystery than they were told.
They are able to learn more about it because the
terrible Edict of Silence is being slowly, and secretly, unraveled by
the mages : it is a mighty spell thrown forty years earlier by the Mad
Queen Jordane, bereft of her daughter and heiress after a great
military defeat far away in the East : she wanted the name of the lost
land forever erased from all her subjects' memory. That land is Emorie,
the country no one talks about, the mysterious Over There where
Grandmother comes from, where Grandfather was born and lived for a long
From that far Eastern land came ambercite, a mineral
much more efficient than coal : only the Garances knew how to refine it
and they were the only ones allowed by the Royalty of the land to
exploit mines, having thus a monopoly over ambercite production.
And it all began with Gilles Garance, the ancestor, the
explorer, the first European ever to set foot in the mythical "Land of
Now sixteen, and though not remembering her dreams,
Jiliane still follows Gilles Garance's adventures in the Land of the
Dragons, where he is discovering the amazing proprieties of the
ambercite compound and living with the three enigmatic and magical
Natéhsin who have chosen to share his destiny.
Meanwhile, her older twin brothers Senso and Pierrino
have left without her, for the first time in their lives, to journey to
Hutland and pay their last respects to their grandmother, Madame
d'Olducey, who has bequeathed them letters written by her and their
Reading them, Senso and Pierrino are bewildered by
unexpected revelations about their grandmother's past and their
parents' death. Then, as they hastily leave Paris where they discovered
even more oddities, the impossible happens : the golden thread that
links them to Jiliane has been broken. Jiliane is nowhere to be found.
What on earth might have happened back in Aurepas?
The dire prophecy of the children's other grandmother,
Lady d'Olducey, has seemingly materialized : pushed by the mynmaï
fortune-telling cards and dice , the grand-children of Sigmismond
Garance have been scattered to the four winds...
Senso, one of the twins, while looking for the missing
Jiliane, has been hired by the Parisian Company of the Two-Banks, a
theater company for whom is father and his mother both worked before
their untimely death. The France he travels in with his new friend and
lover, Alexis, and his bodyguard, the laconic Larché, is
awakening from the Edict of Silence ; the people are also worried or
angered by the rumors saying ambercite might be used again. Pierrino,
the other twin, has been embarked against his will on The Sea Eagle,
Captain Haizelé's ship, and is traveling toward the far East and
Grandmother's country, where he'll have to confront the many dangers of
foreign politics but also his ancestors' extraordinary magic.
As for Jiliane, who has disappeared in mysterious
circumstances, she is gradually taming the power of the Map and is
exploring her family's ancestral memory... without suspecting that she
will soon discover the secret origins of the Princess of Vengeance.
The Dragon's Blood cannot turn against itself, for
the world would then surely end : only the child many times reborn from
many fathers can to judge the Mad Dragon and bring back the Dragon of
In the visions that the Map still burdens her with,
Jiliane still watches as Gilles Garance and Ouraïn live through
the years to meet their fate. Pierrino has shared the Natehsin's dance
in the Sacred City, Garang Xhévât, and, changed, he is
coming back to France with Haizelé, the female captain of The
Sea Eagle, who has become his lover. Meanwhile, still in the theater
company, with Larché and the strange young Alexis, Senso is
following in his father Henri's as well as his mother Agnès'
footsteps and is inexorably traveling back to Aurepas and Grandmother's
old, mysterious house.
When they are all together again, in the crucible of
truth, what fatal alchemy will fuse the fragments of the past that each
of them holds ? What vengeance... or what justice, will take place in
the room of the extraneous window, the terrible red chamber?