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What is the ultimate prize, love or glory? And to what lengths will mortals and otherworldly creatures go to obtain one or both of the aforesaid rewards?
Sir Michael Deveraux is sent from Ireland to the English Court of King Henry VIII with a mission to be achieved through cunning, military might and wisdom, undiverted by carnal lust or the excessive trappings of pleasure present in the Tudor Court. But Michael has severe doubts due to the fact that he has so often been bested by his teachers of the military arts. His father, however, knows that Michael possesses all he needs to succeed. However, Michael is very ill-prepared for the carnal and political machinations he is about to encounter.
Princess Renee of France, shamed by her brief dalliance with a common painter, is also being sent to France. The Princess, it appears throughout the entire story, is far smarter than the royal fools she pretends to serve, but even she is about to have all of her abilities tested beyond her present knowledge and experience. Her powers of control will be stretched to the limit!
King Henry of England is a very busy man! When he is not bedding the female members of his court, outside of good Queen Katherine's sight, he must contend with scheming English nobles and embattled Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, all vying for greater power and ties to the royal family and Rome.
The real is about to be accentuated with the death of one of King Henry's lovers, who is also the sister of a high-ranking nobleman. This lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine is murdered by someone evil beyond belief, possessed of a supernatural darkness that will frighten both characters in the story and those who are furiously turning the pages to find out the next revelation in this nail-biting, stunning thriller!
Add an evolving lusty passion between a couple who vacillate between fearsome loathing and passionate, magnetic love for each other. The story also contains a large amount of richly described culture regarding this sixteenth century time period, pertaining to dress, food, religious festivals, and theological tenets of this notable time, taking place when England remained within the Roman Catholic fold.
Rona Sharon has penned one of the most unusual historical fiction novels this reviewer has ever read and stretches the reader's participation and belief in a wholly new style for this genre! Fascinating reading!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on April 14, 2009