‘Expect much enjoyment from this clever and unusual novel’ THE TIMES, Historical Fiction Book of the Month
‘An entertaining and often very funny read with something to say about both the love of power and the power of love’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘Neil Blackmore writes with a fizzy wit that bounds his characters off the page’ BEN ALDRIDGE
The kingdom of love is a frightening place. A dangerous place. What kind of fool wants to live there?
How have I, Francis Bacon, well-known as the cleverest man in England, been caught in this trap? For years I survived the brutal games of the English court, driven by the whims of the idiot King James I – and finally, I was winning. Forget what my friends Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare say about love. I had that which men truly crave above all else: power.
But now, at the moment of my greatest success, a deadly alliance of my enemies has begun closing in on me. Led by the King’s beautiful and poisonous lover Carr, this new alliance threatens to turn our foolish King against me, so that I may rot in the Tower.
I refuse to go down without a fight. I have concocted a brilliant new plan: I will find my own beguiling young man and supplant Carr in the King’s bed, and take power for myself. All I need to do is find him, my beautiful and mysterious creature, my perfect chess move.
In the dangerous kingdom of love, those who understand desire win. And I intend to win, at all costs.
‘Brilliant … Like Wolf Hall meets Succession … Scandalous, politically perceptive and unexpectedly heartfelt’ APPLE BOOKS