King Richard, son of James III, lies gravely ill and there are rumours that the king's enemy, the Duchess of Burgundy, is preparing an imminent invasion. The ancient crown of Alfred must be found so King Richard can pass it to his successor. Is Simon, Duke of Battersea and friend of the king, next in line to the throne or will the evil werewolf Baron Magnus Rudh succeed in his plot to make his son, Lothar, king? And will Simon's friend Dido, who is being held captive by the Baron and the Duchess escape in time to find Simon and the King before it is too late? This latest adventure - with a truly galloping plot and some breath-taking situations - will delight all fans of Joan Aiken, one of Britain's best-loved children's authors. 'Playful, urgent and wildly inventive, Aiken's language is always potent. Readers with a taste for mystery and complexity will find much to savour. ' - Publishers Weekly.