Jasmine, a young anthropology student arrives in Venice, Italy, to research ghost stories. She meets a mysterious young woman who is trapped in a world as ancient and violent as any ghost story. Jasmine starts to help her new friend to escape her mausoleum of a life – and the man who is her beguiling tormentor – but gradually she too starts to fall under his spell.
Jasmine seems to be a lifeline for her new friend, Violetta, but the relationship goes both ways and is just as likely to pull Jasmine to damnation as it is to lift Violetta to salvation, especially after Jasmine meets Sebastian, a man Violetta has known for a very long time. Initially Jasmine cannot tell if Sebastian is Violetta’s friend, brother, or lover, but she does know how she feels about him.
Unfortunately, the awakening in Violetta does not go unnoticed by the man Violetta calls her father, the man who has had the greatest influence on her life, the man who refuses to let her go. Join them all, and a cast of other colorful characters, on a trip through a somber lagoon to the ancient city sitting serenely at its center, Venice, where noblemen, noblewomen, spies, magic, slaves, and monsters mix, and Jasmine is destined to learn more secrets than are healthy for her.