Alex Ostermann lives in an apartment block with his family in East Berlin. He hates the regime and his parents are worried that Alex and his sister, Geli, aren't displaying the correct ‘socialist attitude'. After school they are often followed. Friends suddenly break off relations. The final straw comes when Alex is arrested.
Russia, 1940. Fifteen-year-old Misha’s life is about to transform when his father is offered a job in Stalin’s inner circle. They move into a luxurious apartment in the Kremlin, but doubts about the glorious new Russia quickly surface. Misha realizes that the secret police can do whatever they like. His own mother is arrested and sent to prison, but Misha and his father daren’t complain. Then as German troops advance on Moscow, the atmosphere in the Kremlin ignites.
Lukas has been apprenticed to work for Emperor Rudolph II. The reclusive emperor collects wonders from around the world, all crammed into four rooms. Not everyone is charmed by his eccentricity though, and when a group of diplomats arrives, sent by the King of Spain, Lukas senses danger. But if he is to protect the great Bohemian from tyranny Lukas must first learn the true meaning of trust, honour and friendship.