At the end of the 19th century, Vienna, the famous illusionist Eisenheim meets with the Duchess von Teschen when she volunteers to participate in an illusion during one of her performances. Despite not having seen each other in fifteen years when they were teenagers, they almost immediately recognize each other as Eduard Abramovich and Sophie von Teschen, who had a doomed romance at the time due to their class differences. The duchess will soon marry Crown Prince Leopold in what would be a marriage for her solely in search of power: to overthrow her father, Emperor Leopold, and to advance to the Hungarian side of the empire. The Crown Prince is known to use violence against women if it suits her needs or purposes. As such, the Duchess, who realizes that she still loves Eisenheim and him, can never leave the Crown Prince without endangering his life. After Eisenheim humiliates the Crown Prince in a private show that results in a ..