Synopsis (as taken from GoodReads)
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?
This was the perfect blend of history in a fictional novel! I am still blown away at the accuracy of the setting and time period.I can tell that the author truly did her research. You get to see one lesser know person in history make his way into this novel, Tom Wintour. I was pleased to see characters in this book that not many people know in history as it may not have been taught in school.
This book had one of the most intriguing story-lines. It surrounds events in 1603, when witchcraft persecution was at an all time high. Robert Cecil and King James have both drafted/declared a war against witches and the use of witchcraft. In this era of time practicing herbalism was considered to be witchcraft. This point of time there was a major push and pull with the power of the church and how it should be first.
Some of the other major points of history in this book covers the Gunpowder plot. Which if you don’t know is when a group of men were tired of King James I, and his rule, set up large amounts of wood and gunpowder underneath a room in which a meeting was intended to be held, wanting to set fire to it and kill him. Then they wanted use his young daughter (who would be queen at that point) as their puppet, so their views and beliefs could be set into motion.
This thrilling novel keeps you hooked from page one all the way to the last word. While this is my first novel by Tracy Borman it won’t be my last!
***I received and e-arc of this book from NetGalley via the publisher in exchange for an honest review***
Shelved: Historical Fiction, European Literature, British
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Expected publication: July 3rd 2018 by Atlantic Monthly Press