1546, and Scotland is bludgeoned by Henry VIII, determined to marry his son to the infant Mary, Queen of Scots. A few among the Scottish nobles, for both political and religious reasons, are eager for this alliance too. They kill Cardinal Beaton, who is Mary’s great protector, and take St Andrews Castle, expecting rescue any day from England.
For a sister and brother, spirited Bethia and rebellious Will, living in St Andrews and caught up on opposite sides, the siege becomes a fight for survival. As the long blockade unravels, it also becomes a test of their loyalties and what’s more important: to save their family, stay true to their beliefs, or to save themselves.
This debut novel closely follows the tumultuous events of the siege of St Andrews Castle, and its dramatic re-taking
‘A clever blend of fact and fiction, with engaging characters, gripping action, tension and drama galore, and a dash of romance. For lovers of Scotland and Scottish history this is a great read.’ Margaret Skea, winner of the Beryl Bainbridge Award
‘The darker side of St Andrews Castle’s history, written with such delightful detail I could almost taste and smell the medieval streets of the historic town! …it’s such a pleasure to read a well written tale, with believable characters and vivid historical descriptions.’ Lynsey Maxwell
‘The position of women in society, the different classes, the tug of war within religion, the volatile throne all comes to life through a merchants family, one of whom is part of the siege in the castle and whose feisty sister is torn between him and their family. The intrigue and the difficult decisions having to be made by all the characters sweep up the reader and carriy you to the very end.’ Alison Whiteford