This was a fascinating page-turner with head-spinning plot twists and a rather predictable ending. The cast is made up of mostly fictional characters, including the two protagonists.
Simon Roseblood is a loyal chancery clerk of John Beaufort’s Lancastrian household, who are staunch supporters of King Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. Amadeus Sevigny is a chancery clerk of the ambitious York household (Duke of York, his wife Cecily Neville and their nephew Richard Neville) who have set their eyes on the throne. Rivalry between Roseblood and Sevigny is further complicated by intrusion on the scene of a vengeful group of French mercenaries who are bent on annihilating the Beauforts, whom they blame for the massacre in a French village years before. After many twists and turns, Sevigny finds himself in love with Roseblood’s beautiful daughter and being hated by Cecily Neville for a blame he is innocent of. It is enough to make him decide to change allegiance.
Real historical characters are barely featured throughout the novel until the final two chapters.
Overall, it was an entertaining read with very meticulous descriptions of gore, stench and filth of medieval London. I’m giving it 4 stars.