"The entire plotting was faultless as the author drove the story forward with his trademark pace."
England, 1546, A young Princess Elizabeth is surrounded by uncertainty. Not yet in line for the throne, she still remains a threat to her brother and sister.
In the midst of this fevered atmosphere comes an unexpected invitation from the Sultan in Constantinople. He wants to assemble the finest chess players in the world for a tournament. Roger Ascham, Elizabeth's tutor and mentor in the art of power and politics is determined to keep her out of harm's way, so he resolves to take her with him to the Ottoman capital.
Once there, the two find more danger than they left behind. There's a killer on the loose who's mutilating the bodies he leaves behind. Ascham is asked by the Sultan to investigate, but as he and Elizabeth delve into the crimes they find dark secrets, depraved actions and horrible crimes.