This is a beautifully written, historical fiction thriller that takes place during the rule of Queen Elizabeth and in her court. If you are a fan of this era and know a bit about the whispers of occult and astrology that occurred during her reign, you are really going to enjoy this story of conspiracy and mystery. This is probably one of my favorite time periods to read about since it truly was an age of discovery and that these ideas were often described as heresy and treason. Yet, in the world of the ruling class, they were quietly relied upon. When there is a murder of the queen's ladies, Elizabeth calls in her astrologer and a former monk named Bruno to help solve the murders. Bruno first appears as an investigator and spy for the French King Henri in Parris' first book, Heresy. The story also touches upon the rivalry and conspiracy of Queens Mary and Elizabeth.The second half of the book really moves the plot forward and will have you guessing about who is behind the murderous plot and the loyalty of Queen Elizabeth to her trusted companions which may prove to not be in her best interest. I think my favorite part of the whole story is the word play and dialogue of Bruno which is so much fun to read. There is at times an overwhelming amount of historical detail which I find fascinating, but might bog down other readers. The ending caught me completely by surprise and I will now have to go back and read Heresy since I enjoyed this one so much.