Azriel is telling the story of his transformation into and subsequent existence as an immortal genii who is forced to obey the Master who calls him. Over centuries, Azriel becomes less obedient to the Masters and a warning is placed on the casket of his bones that he is not to be summoned lest his evil be loosed upon the undeserving world.
After many centuries of rest, Azriel finds himself awake and in New York City, a dazed witness to the murder of a young woman, Esther Belkin. He becomes inexplicably obsessed with the desire to avenge her death and to find out who called him into the physical world in time to see Esther die but not in time to save her. This quest leads him to the girl's stepfather, Gregory Belkin, who would pay any price to fulfill his messianic dream via his immense worldwide religious organization, the Temple of the Mind of God.
As his quest approaches its climax, he risks his supernatural powers to forestall an attempt to destroy the world thus redeeming what was denied him for so long: his own eternal human soul.