“Robb deftly interweaves a complex story of love, passion and murder into the troubled and tangled fabric of Welsh history . . . A rich and satisfying novel” (Publishers Weekly).
In fourteenth-century England, Owen Archer and Geoffrey Chaucer are carrying out a mission for the Duke of Lancaster—under the pretense of escorting Owen’s father-in-law and the archbishop’s secretary on a pilgrimage to the sacred city of St. David’s in Wales.
England and France are at war, and the southern Welsh coast is vulnerable to invasion, so Owen and Geoffrey are to recruit archers for the duke’s army and inspect his fortifications on the coast, while quietly investigating whether the duke’s steward at Cydweli Castle is involved in a French plot to incite rebellion in Wales.
But trouble precedes them in the cathedral city of St. David’s. On Whitesands Beach beyond the city, a young man is beaten and left for dead, then spirited away by a Welsh bard. Shortly afterward, a corpse clothed in the livery of the Duke of Lancaster is left at the city gate, his shoes filled with white sand. Meanwhile at Cydweli Castle, the theft of money from the castle’s exchequer is followed by a violent death and the disappearance of the steward’s beautiful young wife. Owen and Geoffrey begin to see connections linking the troubles in city and castle, and learn they must unravel a complex story of betrayed love and political ambition . . .
“This compelling historical mystery lives up to the standard set by master medievalist Ellis Peters.” —Booklist