In March of 1603, as she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth of England, Frances Gorges dreams of her parents’ country estate, where she has learned to use flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer. She is happy to stay at home when King James of Scotland succeeds to the throne. His court may be shockingly decadent, but his intolerant Puritanism sees witchcraft in many of the old customs—punishable by death.
But when her ambitious uncle forcibly brings Frances to the royal palace, she is a ready target for the twisted scheming of the Privy Seal, Lord Cecil. As a dark campaign to destroy both King and Parliament gathers pace, culminating in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Frances is surrounded by danger, finding happiness only with the King’s precocious young daughter, and with Tom Wintour, the one courtier she feels she can trust.But is he all that he seems?
Acclaimed as a brilliant historian, Tracy Borman proves with this thrilling debut novel that she is also a born storyteller.
This book is amazing. Told from the point of view of a very strong willed woman. What Francis goes through just to make it in her life is amazing. The characters are completely well written out that I, honestly, wanted to smack her uncle, lol. Francis is a herb woman that in historical times would be labeled as a witch. That was completely stupid and just another way for men to control the women in the times. That is a different rant so I won’t go into it right now.
This story takes place as King James comes from Scotland at Queen Elizabeth’s death (may she continue to rest in peace). It takes you through King James of Scotland’s witch hunt and Lord Cecil’s evil plot to prove Francis is a witch. Thankfully the Queen steps in and protects her but not till Francis has been tortured. With all this going Frances falls in love & loses her love.
There are plots and schemes withing plots and schemes in the story line. Made it very hard to put down. I stopped the the first night at 57% read and then finished it the next night. It grabbed your interest and you just had to know what happens. You want to laugh and cry at the same time in parts of it. I can not wait till the next one comes out and I am adding Tracy Borman to my authors to watch and read.
I received this book from Net Galley for this review.