Tat Book One: Hell, is the story of Tatiana Stannek, a young girl living in the closing years of the nineteenth century. Suffering a strange malady which caused her to be born with her skin covered in intricate markings, she is exhibited as the 'Painted Girl' by her brutish father who runs a gypsy circus that travels around Eastern Europe. Beaten and abused, young Tat yearns only for the release of death to deliver her from the pain of living.
One night, she dreams of a god with the head of a falcon, this sets the stage for an intense confrontation between Tat and her father. Following a catastrophic incident, she awakens in a Polish hospital with no memory of how she came to be there. Here, she is afforded an all-too brief respite from her father's machinations. She is introduced to the wonders of Morphine and quickly develops a taste for its numbing and euphoric effects. Upon release she is reclaimed by her father and the pair set out on a journey to far-off London for nebulous purposes.
They travel to Danzig, a shipping port on the Baltic sea where they are met by an old friend. Here we begin to learn that everything isn't as simple as expected, and much more is at stake than previously thought. He provides Tat with insight as to the purpose of her markings and gives her a cryptic clue that points to the mystery surrounding her birth. With his help, they board a ship bound for London.
On the ship Tat suffers her lowest point and attempts to commit suicide by throwing herself into the sea. Inexplicably saved from certain doom, the authorities finally catch up with them in a climatic confrontation that leaves Tat unsure of the very nature of her existence.
Upon Arrival in London, an incident occurs that turns Tat's whole world upside down, leading her ultimately to a secret society, where some questions are answered, while many more are raised, leaving the reader questioning the entire narrative thus far. Events lead to an underground crypt, where many startling revelations are learned, sparking a mad dash to Oxford University and ultimate fates of all involved.