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.
Out July 3, 2018
I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
What a plethora cast of characters: William Shakespeare, Guy Fawkes, Tom Wintour, King James, Queen Elizabeth, Reverend Samuels and many others, this author’s ability to weave a tale involving such iconic characters, blended beautifully with fact and fiction is outstanding! You’ll discover more about the Gunpowder plot, the plot to assassinate King James, witch hunts, herbal healing, and more…
What really amazed me was just how stupid humans can be about something they don’t understand. Don’t understand it! Kill it!
Tracy Borman is a genius story-teller, her ability to put together such an involved historical plot is remarkable. Seeing life as it was during King James I’s reign was quite amazing and had me fascinated with events as they unraveled. I had to double check events listed to see if they were fact or fiction! lol Every time I was sure it was fact, Borman had written it so well, it turned out to be fiction.
The pace was steady and sometimes a bit slow but not to the point where I lost interest. There was so much information to take in and I just wanted to kick Frances’ uncle. Times for a woman back then was bad enough, but then add the witch hunters to the mix and herbal healing… no wonder Frances was written strong.
The Tudor period is one of my favorite times in history and Borman researched every bit of detail meticulously. To read how life was back then, sent shivers up my spine. I was entertained, engrossed, enthralled and engaged throughout the whole book.
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