Spain in the years before the Armada, and high passion meets high politics. Ana, Princess of Eboli is a remarkable woman. Married at thirteen and losing an eye in a duel a year later, Ana is also heiress of Spain's leading family, widow of Philip II's wisest cousellor and rumoured to be the King's mistress. Unexpectedly - and unwisely - she falls in love with Don Antonio Perez, dandy, adulterer, skilled politician. With her unusual looks, her aristocratic arrogance and the simplicities of her faith, Ana cannot understand why her private life should become entangled with the affairs of state and, finally, incur the terrible vindictiveness of the King himself . . .
Kate O'Brien's understanding and love of Spain enhance the beauty of this passionate and intelligent novel.