The story related in the expanded edition of Twilight is a direct continuation of The Year of the Sword, the third novel of the Strasbourg Saga. The story of The Year of the Sword came to a close in 1649 during the Cossack wars in Poland and Ukraine, and the original edition of Twilight picked up the story in 1658. The expanded edition follows the exploits of the popular characters of the Saga from the end of 1649 through 1658.
During these years, the massacre of countless Jewish people finally came to an end, but the painful memories were still fresh in the minds of the survivors. The Jewish people still suffered from the violent convulsions shaping Poland and all of Europe in the middle of the seventeenth century, convulsions that had not yet run their full course. As the story begins, a report of twins abducted by the Cossacks during the massacre at Tulczyn spurs Elisha Ringel to action. He manages to secure a meeting with Bogdan Chmielnicki, the hetman of the Cossacks, in his headquarters in Zaporozhiye, and the exciting story unfolds from there, coming to a climax in Warsaw nine years later. In the course of the story, we also meet Rav Shabsi Kohein, the Shach, and follow the turbulent events of his life through the eyes of Rav Shloime Strasbourg, rabbi of Pulichev.
Twilight is that fragile moment that is not quite night and not quite day. The period described in this book was a twilight time. The wounds of war were not yet healed, but there was hope once again. A darkness of different kind, however, loomed in the future. The next installment in the Saga, The Impostor, describes what happened when Shabbesai Tzvi triggered one of the most disastrous episodes of our history.