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‘An outstanding page-turner . . . historical fiction at its absolute best’ – Alison Weir
‘An engaging heroine . . . and Borman’s depiction of Villiers, with all his ruthless charisma, is striking’ – The Sunday Times
Frances Gorges has happiness within her grasp. King James would rather be hunting stags with her beloved husband Thomas than chasing witches, which means her medical skills and herbal knowledge no longer hang over her like a death sentence. Her family is growing and their estates are secure.
But a new arrival at court brings intrigue, jealousy and danger. George Villiers is a young man with the face of an angel and the cunning heart of a devil.
Soon James is besotted by this charismatic new lover. Former favourites are crushed with scheming and lies. Thomas’s life is made a misery and Frances is back under suspicion as Villiers plots to marry her friend Katherine Manners and seize her fortune.
Appalled at the courtier’s greed and the King’s weakness, Frances finds herself drawn back to her old friend Sir Walter Raleigh and his last, desperate plot to see a Catholic monarch on the throne.
And then her troubles really begin . . .
‘Unexpected twists and turns with every page . . . masterfully crafted’ – Nicola Tallis ‘Lots of fascinating detail and insight into James’s backstabbing court . . . enjoyable’ – The Times ‘Lush, wholly convincing and utterly gripping. Fact and fiction have rarely been blent so seamlessly’ – Sarah Gristwood
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