When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods – and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital?

Maliverny Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is appointed to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally – and Mal his soul.

"Anne Lyle creates a world where history meets fantasy in the streets. No wilting faerie queens and tortured knights here: this is how historical fantasy gets dirty."

Douglas Hulick, author of Among Thieves

"Mal had the uncomfortable feeling he was being used as a pawn in a game where he could see neither board nor pieces, still less the players making their moves."