Father Ambrosio, the most pious and venerated monk in all of Madrid, is held as a paragon of virtue. But after 30 years of study and prayer, evil thoughts begin to permeate his mind. As two plots cleverly converge, torture, murder, incest, rape, poison, and magic prevail, sustained by an elegance in the writing of the 19-year-old Matthew Lewis.
Ambrosio, the worthy superior of the Capuchins of Madrid, falls to the temptations of Matilda, a fiend-inspired wanton who, disguised as a boy, has entered his monastery as a novice. Ambrosio then falls in love with one of his penitents and finally kills her in order to escape detection. However, he is discovered, tortured by the Inquisition and sentenced to death.
Artist Hans Holbein is summoned to the house of Sir Thomas More to receive the commission of a lifetime. He will leave with a secret that could cost him his life. He will learn the truth about the life of King Richard III, the man that the Tudor dynasty has been at great pains to villify. From his return from exile with his brother, King Edward IV, to his rise to become the king's most loyal, most trusted, and most powerful subject. From his flourishing personal life to his seizure of the throne from his nephew.
In this sequel to Loyalty, Hans Holbein returns to London in search of royal patronage, a secret from his past will define his future in a new, terrifying way. The story that he knows did not end at Bosworth. In the aftermath, Henry Tudor must try to secure his dynasty against unending, unseen threats. From the ashes of all that they knew, those who cannot accept King Henry's rule must find a place in the new world being forced upon them. Who does the truth belong to?