Medallion Press, Nov 2004, 6.99, 360 pp.
Cardinal Richelieu's loyalty was to France but he made many enemies. Although a trusted advisor to King Louis XIII, the monarch chafed under the Cardinal's rule. At a soirée, Richelieu takes ill and his base born niece who he married to the Comte de Palais knows he was poisoned; even with all her magical powers, the Sorcerieress Francoise knows her uncle has only hours to live. He hands over the reigns of the Cardinal's Eye to his niece with the king's consent.
When he dies an anguished Francoise promises to avenge her uncle's murder; as a spymaster and a powerful shapeshifting sorceress she has the power to do it. While searching through her uncle's papers she notices that a group of men, including her horrible husband and her best friend belong to a group in which the last survivor gains the valuable jewel the Heart of Flame. Needing to protect her friend, Francoise investigates the deaths and becomes romantically involved with the Comte de Traville who helps her in her quest which involves a sorcerer almost as powerful as Francoise and just as dangerous.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner