Catherine travels to Russia to marry the Emperor. After becoming Empress, she realizes Peter is a selfish brat. She feels hopeless until her servant, Marial, suggests they overthrow him.
Catherine takes her first steps toward a coup. Taking advice from Marial, she attempts to seduce and recruit palace intellectual Count Orlo. It's a disaster, but he is ultimately convinced.
Catherine, Orlo and Marial continue their coup planning. Peter, noting Catherine’s unhappiness, gifts Catherine a sterile lover, Leo. She’s hesitant at first, but Leo manages to charm her.
Catherine tries to manage her reputation at court and her relationship with Leo. An influential Patriarch of the church dies. Orlo tries to influence Peter's decision for a replacement.
As the war with Sweden continues to rage, Catherine and Aunt Elizabeth visit the military at the Russian front. Grigor struggles with Peter and Georgina’s relationship and poisons Peter.
After his near-death experience, Peter is now open to Catherine's progressive ideas and wants to focus on an heir. Orlo tries to figure out who poisoned Peter and faces demons of his own.
Fun, bawdy period series is full of swearing and sex.
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