Escaping from an English convent, young Alys learns the arts of healing and magic from the ``wise woman'' who takes her in. Her struggle to find an independent life takes her among an array of characters, including a mediocre lover young Lord Hugo, a sickly old man Lord Huge who still very much in control of the lives around him, and two challenging women: Marach and Mother Hildebrande. In general, the story line is good but unfortunately the author did not deliver the potential it seemed to have in the first few chapters. It’s very hard to like the main character Alys as she never seems to come to any conclusive decision about who or what she is. At beginning she longs for her life as a nun, and then she attempts to access her female power and cast spells and even enjoy her sinful life. I have read “The Other Boylen Girl” and “The Queens Fool” by Philippa Gregory and enjoy the historical part very much. But this work is very different from her other works and not cohesive – it’s more like a odd romance novel with a bit of history.
Alys joins a nunnery to escape the poverty of her life on the moor with her foster mother, Morach, the local wise woman with whom she lives as an outcast, but she soon finds herself thrown back into the world when Henry VIII's wreckers destroy her sanctuary. Summoned to the castle as the old lord's scribe, she falls obsessively in love with his son Hugo, who is married to Catherine. Driven to desperation by her desire, she summons the most dangerous powers Morach has taught her, but soon the passionate triangle of Alys, Hugo, and Catherine begins to explode, launching them into uncharted sexual waters. The magic Alys has conjured now has a life of its own — a life that is horrifyingly and disastrously out of control. Is she a witch? Since heresy means the stake, and witchcraft the rope, Alys is in mortal danger, treading a perilous path between her faith and her own female power....Continua