The Empress Emerald is the story of Leo Kazan and Davina Dymond, lovers separated by continents, time and social convention. Set in the tumultuous years between the two World Wars, when Russia was ripped apart by revolution, civil war destroyed Spain, and the Home Rule movement finally undermined the British Raj in India, it is a love story played out on an international stage.
Leo is half Russian and half Indian, an orphan (or so he believes) and a talented linguist. He is also a thief, attracted like a magpie to everything that glitters. Leo becomes the protégé of Sir Lionel Pinecoffin, the District Political Officer in Bombay, who recognises his talents and turns him into a spy. From an early age, Leo is involved in international espionage, and diamond smuggling. He travels from India to Europe and Russia, but the most meaningful time in his life are a few stolen days with a girl named Davina, in London.
As the drums of war reverberate around the world for the second time in their lives, Leo begins to understand his past, and Davina turns to crime to survive. She and Leo must find a way to escape the old world and its ways in order to find their true identities, happiness – and each other.