The year is 1601. Queen Elizabeth I is dying, childless. King James VI of Scotland may succeed her, but her spymasters fear James is secretly Catholic, and that his accession would overturn 40 years of religious struggle. A bloodbath could ensue. In this New York Times Notable Book, Geoffrey Belloc enlists Muslim physician Mahmoud Ezzedine to discern the nature of the king's soul, and Ezzedine would do anything to return home to his family.
"Arthur Phillips fans will recognize—and new readers will thrill to—the immersive mix of erudition, brio, and heart in [this novel]. Phillips is an original—and in top form."—Jennifer Egan