When a murder is brought to the attention of the werewolf investigator Grete Ravenhallow, she is set to investigate what reminds her of her arch-enemy, bringing to memory the events of centuries ago amidst her struggle for acceptance both without and within.
- Back from the Dead: Nomura and Siegfried seemingly come back from the dead after the events of Under the Cold Moon left them destroyed. Of course, they're imposters—but not of the willing sort.
- Big Bad: Subverted. The closest thing there is to a central mastermind is Sieglinde Nomura, and she herself is long dead by the time the plot has kicked off. The central, tangible threat is Frederick, but he's nothing more than a pawn of Nomura's posthumous scheme.
- The Champion: Frederick is essentially this among the clans: he's the "First Blade," a veteran of a thousand battles who gets to prove his mettle by going down fighting Siegfried. It's little wonder Nomura sees him fit to turn into a twisted pastiche of her own father.
- Fate Worse than Death: The fate of Frederick, the old First Blade of the Clans—horribly experimented on by Nomura, his identity destroyed, his "skin" changed to that of Siegfried's and his mind warped to think and feel as though he is Siegfried. The poor bastard's just aware enough of what he's been twisted into to silently offer his own neck for Grete's blade when he's defeated.
- Glamour: Grete notes that she refuses to wear a ring that would let her disguise herself, the way Hardstadt does with his unusually colored eyes and hair.
- Mercy Kill: Grete delivers this to her old comrade Frederick and another werewolf, both of whom have long been twisted into broken, brainwashed puppets of Siegfried and Nomura.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: After a man refers Grete as "Cafe au lait" aka "Coffee with milk", in reference to her mixed heritage, she recalls being compared to a pet along with "several phrases that I do not care to recall".
- Not Quite Dead: Grete's old comrade, Frederick, was thought lost to the depths of the abyss he dragged Siegfried into. He survived, in the tender care of Nomura. What comes out after all that time in Nomura's clutches is decidedly better off dead.
- One Steve Limit: Averted as there is a Frederick unrelated from the one from In the Castle of the Night, due to the two living hundreds of years apart. Though it is stated to be an alias, and his real name is revealed to be Segimer.
- Parental Substitute: Grete mentions that she saw Eliza as a mother figure after the loss of Thorunn, and states that while she respects Erin she does not see her this way.
- Politically Correct History: Averted as Grete is referred to as "Coffee with milk" and worse things due to her mixed heritage.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Siegfried's goal is to turn the French Revolution into a bloodbath, and even though he is prevented from doing so, the Revolution is still just as violent as he would have hoped it to be.
- Would Hurt a Child: Siegfried has numerous people, including children, caged in his lair, and takes one of for a lopsided battle to the death.