It is 1560, and Elizabeth Tudor has been on the throne for a year. Dr John Dee, at 32 already acclaimed throughout Europe, is her astrologer and consultant in the hidden arts...a controversial appointment in these days of superstition and religious strife. Now the mild, bookish Dee has been sent to Glastonbury to find the missing bones of King Arthur, whose legacy was always so important to the Tudor line. With him - hardly the safest companion - is his friend and former student, Robert Dudley, a risk-taker, a wild card...and possibly the Queen's secret lover. The famously mystical town is still mourning the gruesome execution of its Abbot, Richard Whiting. But why was the Abbot really killed? What is the secret held by the monks since the Abbey was founded by Joseph of Arimathea, uncle of Christ and guardian of the Holy Grail? The mission takes Dee to the tangled roots of English magic, into unexpected violence, necromantic darkness, the breathless stirring of first love...and the cold heart of a complex plot against Elizabeth.
Phil Rickman is the author of the internationally-acclaimed novels featuring Merrily Watkins, rural diocesan exorcist, and a new series about the Elizabethan astrologer John Dee. His early horror novels were praised by Stephen King but - determined to avoid any hint of fantasy - he now concentrates on realistic crime with a subtle element of the paranormal. Phil is fascinated by ancient places, loves rock and folk music and, with guitarist and composer Allan Watson, writes songs for the CDs linked to his novels.