Lovely, lively, lonely Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, daughter of a hundred kings, desire of a hundred suitors, prize in as unscrupulous a tug-o-war for power as ever disfigured the pages of history - was she wanton or victim, siren or saint? Or was she just Woman, eternal, essential?
The question has intrigued the world. It did more than intrigue Clan Gordon, in 1562, when Mary made her only progress into the North, at the behest of her sanctimonious and ambitious half-brother, the Lord James Stewart.
Patrick Gordon of Balruary, with no ambition to dabble in affairs of State, found himself caught up in the web that spun itself wherever Mary took her delectable person. He tasted of blood and tears, of love and laghter, of treason and treachery, before he won clear of those toils...now was he ever quite his own man again thereafter.