A prose of country, loyalty, honor, pride, and love and which side the Courtenay family will land on.
I absolutely love this series. It has a build up that does not disappoint as the Courtenay family saga continues. Last book was Lucy and this was more on her brother Stephen. If you are a fan of historical fiction and Queen Elizabeth time period, you will want to get into this series. There are some liberations as Queen Elizabeth has a daughter named Anabel, however, it plays well with all that is going on in her reign. The power struggle with whom to marry and the reformation of the church. The politicization of the church and the motivation behind it.
The Courtenay family are not only good friends of the Queen but advisors and most loyal. Stephen is sent to Ireland to bring control and word back to the Queen but comes back broken and in despair. It is only by his brother-in law Julien’s counsel and support he goes back and falls for his country enemy. It is this relationship that had me swooning. The development and the choice he had to make between what was right and where his loyalties lie. The choice was complex and the choice had no good ending. I was rooting for love.
Dominic and his wife along with their twins are sent to Spain to bring gifts to the King Phillip and his wife Mary and their twin boys. They are also sent by the Elizabeth to make observations has the relationship between England and Spain are fragile.
Some of the quotes that I found compelling.
Anabel is no one’s pawn. She is not simply a piece on the game board-she is the game.
Spain and England are on a collision course. The only question is how sharply they collide.
All my thoughts since I was fourteen have been bent on destruction, not desire, I did not think I had it in me.
But Allis was not just a job. The most successful covers, Julien had taught him, were those that hewed most closely to the truth of a man’s soul. And taught be told, Stephen had serious qualms about English policy in Ireland. He’d been appalled at the poverty and hunger made many times worse by English solders.
Cannot wait for the next one. Where honor and pride may divide but they also hold kingdoms together.
A Special Thank You to Ballentine Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.