The dashing Robert Carr is a well-known favorite of King James I. After attracting his attention by falling from a horse in the tiltyard, Robert rises quickly through the ranks. But when the cunning and beautiful Frances Howard comes to court, a very dangerous liaison changes everything.
Married against her will while still a child, Frances emerges from that experience a headstrong force of nature—determined to have her own way, no matter what the consequences. Her attempts to rid herself of an unwanted husband, and later to ensnare a lukewarm lover, have led her deep into the world of spell-makers and poisoners. This is a woman to underestimate at great peril. But not until Robert finds himself ensnared in one of Frances’s plots—imprisoned in the Tower of London and accused of murder—does he learn at last what she is truly capable of.