Alice Verney is a young woman intent on achieving her dreams. Having left Restoration England in the midst of a messy scandal, she has been living in Louis XIV’s Baroque, mannered France for two years. Now she is returning home to England and anxious to re-establish herself quickly. First, she will regain her former position as a maid of honor to Charles II’s queen. Then she will marry the most celebrated duke of the Restoration, putting herself in a position to attain power she’s only dreamed of. As a duchess, Alice will be able to make or break her friends and enemies at will.
But all is not as it seems in the rowdy, merry court of Charles II. Since the Restoration, old political alliances have frayed, and there are whispers that the king is moving to divorce his barren queen, who some wouldn’t mind seeing dead. But Alice, loyal only to a select few, is devoted to the queen, and so sets out to discover who might be making sinister plans, and if her own father is one of them. When a member of the royal family dies unexpectedly, and poison is suspected, the stakes are raised. Alice steps up her efforts to find out who is and isn’t true to the queen, learns of shocking betrayals throughout court, and meets a man that she may be falling in love with—and who will spoil all of her plans. With the suspected arrival of a known poison-maker, the atmosphere in the court electrifies, and suddenly the safety of the king himself seems uncertain. Secret plots are at play, and war is on the horizon—but will it be with the Dutch or the French? And has King Charles himself betrayed his country for greed?
The long-awaited prequel to Koen’s beloved Through a Glass Darkly , Dark Angels is a feast of a novel that sparkles with all the passion, extravagance, danger, and scandal of seventeenth-century England. Unforgettable in its dramatic force, here is a novel of love and politics, of romance and betrayal, of power and succession—and of a resourceful young woman who risks everything for pride and status in an era in which women were afforded little of either.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Dark Angels|
|Release Date: 09-05-2006|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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Facing white cliffs in a strait of ocean separating two kingdoms, a fleet of ships lay at anchor. It was the fleet of the kingdom of England, sent to escort precious cargo: a princess of England and France, the most famous princess in Christendom, in fact. A yacht with a rakish bow slashed through the water toward the best and greatest of these anchored ships; the king on board liked fast yachts, fast horses, fast women. The princess was his sister, and he and those with him could not wait to see her.
"Monmouth's on the yacht!" said a young woman leaning over the side of the princess's ship. She had stepped atop a huge coil of rope for this view, and a sailor, eyeing her satins and the single strand of fat pearls at her neck, had warned her to be careful, but she'd sent him off with a withering comment to mind his own business. She wasn't one to suffer fools-or even those who weren't fools-telling her what to do. The sight of King Charles's yacht racing toward them was thrilling. She could see the crowd waiting on shore. The queen and her father and her best friend were among them. She was so glad to see England again, she wasn't certain she'd be able to keep herself from kneeling on the beach and kissing the sand of it when she landed.
"And who else is there?" asked the friend with her, like her a maid of honor to the princess, and like her, excited to be witnesses to this, King Charles and his sister meeting again after so many years-ten if it was a day. Flags were flying from all the topmasts, whipping smartly in the breeze. The day was bright and clear. Eve