Short summary - Michael Strogoff: The Courier of the Czar
Jules Gabriel Verne
Michael Strogoff is a courier in the service of Emperor Alexander II. When the Tatar Khan Feofar invades Russia, Strogoff travels to Irkutsk under the alias of Nikolai Korpanov to warn the governor, the tsar's brother, of Ivan Ogaryov's treason.
Mikhail Strogoff, a thirty-year-old resident of Omsk, serves as a courier for Emperor Alexander II. Tatar Khan Feofar organizes an uprising and separates the Far East from the main continent by damaging the telegraph lines. The rebels surround Irkutsk, where the headquarters of the local governor, the king's brother, is located. Strogoff is sent there to warn about the traitor Ivan Ogaryov, a former colonel who has been demoted and sent into exile. Now Ogaryov intends to take revenge on the imperial family. His task is to burn Irkutsk, destroying oil depots on the Angara River.
On his way to Irkutsk, Strogoff meets Nadezhda Fyodor, the daughter of the exiled politician Basil Fyodor, who has been allowed to live with her father; Harry Blount, an English correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, and Alcide Jolivet, a French reporter. Blount and Jolivet travel almost the same route as Mikhail, constantly parting ways and meeting each other along the way. Mikhail travels under a different name and surname, but the Tatars reveal him when Strogoff visits his mother in Omsk.
The Tatars take him, his mother and Nadya prisoner. Ogarev claims that Strogoff is a spy. After looking for advice in the Koran, Feofar decides that Mikhail should be blinded according to the Tatar laws, drawing a red-hot sword over his eyes. For some time, Strogoff believes that he is blind, but it soon turns out that his sight has been preserved.
Mikhail and Nadya escape from captivity and go to Irkutsk together with a local peasant who volunteers to be their guide. Soon they arrive there and tell the king's brother about Ogaryov. Mikhail and Nadezhda get married, and Nadia's father is forgiven.