The Tudor court of Queen Mary springs to life in this new novel by Gortner. Descriptions of courtly life, the surrounding city of London, the conspiracies, the danger of being close to the throne, all dance off the page with realistic imagery. People and their actions come alive. The personalities of Mary and Elizabeth, the tightrope of life and death that accompanies these powerful women, the murky underbelly of courtly intrigue, are fearfully rendered and brought to life through the eyes of Brendan Prescott via Gortner's pen.
When thrones are at stake all men are suspect and power can shift in a flash. Combatants jockey for positions and plots and counter plots swirl around the English court like sparks taking to dry tinder.
It's 1544 and William Cecil brings news that the Princess Elizabeth is in danger from a plot hatched by the spanish advisor Simon Renard. He seeks to have Elizabeth eliminated as heir to the throne, protecting the interests of any child Mary and Philip of Spain might have, and ultimately those of the Hapsburg Empire. Cecil convinces Brendan Prescott that 'The Spanish ambassador Simon Renard had sowed fear in the queen regarding Elizabeth's ultimate loyalty to her, using the princess's faith' as the key to her downfall. Prescott is to insinuate himself into Mary's court to foil Renard's machinations.
Imprisoned Robert Dudley is once again in the thick of things and could bring about Elizabeth's downfall. Prescott must protect the princess at all costs. But Prescott has his own secrets to protect.
An exciting Elizabethan thriller with just the right blend of truth and imagination. A virtuoso performance!
A NetGalley ARC