It is midnight. A group of men in blue caftans gather alongside the moonlit seashore in Smyrna, Turkey. They tremble with anticipation. Presently, a man emerges from the waves in the distance. He steps behind a rock, dons a shimmering white robe and slowly walks toward his reverential disciples. The man's name is Shabbesai Tzvi, the infamous impostor who would one day convince most of the Jewish world that he is the long-awaited Mashiach. This is where his story begins.
The Impostor, the fifth book in The Strasbourg Saga, takes place in the middle of the seventeenth century, just after the horrendous Cossack massacres of 1648-1649 devastated the Jewish communities of Poland and the Ukraine. Everywhere in Europe and the Mediterranean lands, Jewish people were being persecuted, brutalized, ridiculed, taxed beyond reason. They suffered pogroms, confiscations, expulsions, confinement to ghettos, blood libels.