Brendan Prescott is a young, ambitious squire who arrives at the Tudor court of King Edward VI to serve Lord Robert Dudley. Raised by the Dudleys since birth as a stable groom, Brendan was abandoned at birth and has no family history. His appointment to serve the arrogant Lord Robert provides him with an opportunity to better his lot, one he fully intends to exploit - until he witnesses the unexpected arrival of the King's younger sister, Princess Elizabeth, as she rides into London in disguise.
Elizabeth comes to court determined to uncover the truth about her brother. Rumors bound that the King may be dying; and access to his person has been denied by the powerful Duke of Northumberland, Robert Dudley's own father. Having befriended Robert since childhood, Elizabeth seeks his help, unaware she's the target of a vengeful plot, until Lord Robert sends Brendan to her with an illicit offer of a rendezvous. The Princess captivates Brendan with her determination to discover the truth about her brother. She clearly faces tremendous danger at court, in particular from the Duke, and Brendan soon finds himself lured into her spy service.
Turning coats on the Dudley family, he feigns subservience to Lord Robert, as he embarks on a dangerous mission from London to Greenwich Palace to find out where the Duke has hidden the King. In Greenwich, he uncovers clues that point to a lethal web of betrayal, murder and treason -- clues that are also linked to his own mysterious past, a past that begins to link him with the royal family itself. Piecing together the terrible secret of his birth, he comes face-to-face with a cunning opponent who schemes not only to destroy Elizabeth but to bring down the throne of England itself.
This report prepared by Christopher Gortner