Unicorn's Blood opens with a man who has lost his memory, and his hands are severely injured, but of course, he can't remember why. We come to find out he is in the Tower of London, marked as a traitor to Queen Elizabeth I, and is being questioned by a Mr. Davison, and his hands have been injured as he has been shackled and hung from a beam for hours on end. He has truly lost his memory, due to a blow to his head from his capture, but of course, his captors do not beleive him. A doctor, Dr. Nunez, is called in to keep the man alive for further "questioning", and he recognizes the prisoner as David Becket, Swordmaster, who helped his nephew Simon Ames thwart a plot to assassinate the queen 4 years prior (see Firedrake's Eye). Nunez arranges to have Becket moved to another prison, where he installs his nephew Simon, long thought dead by the Queen's intelligence men, to try to help Becket regain his memory.
Mr. Davison has learned of a book, supposedly written by the Queen herself, when she was still a child and not yet in line for the throne. This book supposedly contains two things that could do irreperable harm to the Queen; one, a confession that she had indeed had an affair with Sir Thomas Seymore, an affair that had serious repercussions; and two, her will and testament, which named Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, as her heir. If this book is made public knowledge, then the Queen's whole reign as the Virgin Queen has been a lie, and as Mary Queen of Scots has been imprisoned for years as a traitor to Elizabeth, this would provide more leverage for her supporters to have her freed and on the throne. Elizabeth is under constant pressure from all of her councilors to sign the death warrant for Mary Stuart, but she is reluctant; she has seen enough of Queens being put to death, as a child of Henry VIII, her own mother, Anne Boleyn, being one of them.
David Becket and Simon Ames meet up, and as pieces start coming back to David, he does not know who to trust. The Queen's Fool, Thomasina, a dwarf, masquerades as a child in the prison, and the three try to piece together the whereabouts of the Book of the Unicorn, hopefully before Mr. Davison does. For a while, they are working against each other, but finally come together to save the Queen's honor.
This book uses several phrases and terms of the Elizabethan era, and there is a glossary at the end with these defined.
This report prepared by Karen