1067. In the desolate wastes of Greenland, a band of hunters stumble across a strangely-shaped stone which has fallen from the sky. Over the next six hundred years, the Sky-Stone will fall into the hands of crusading knights, a wicked manor-lord of Devon, a group of radical young kabalists, the dying King Henry III and a band of travelling players. But treachery, discord and violent death follow for all who seek to possess it.
|Simon & Schuster; 2011
THE FALSE VIRGIN
AD 848.Bernwyn of Lythe, the young daughter of an ealdorman, spurns marriage and chooses to remain a virgin dedicated to Christ. When she is found murdered in the chapel where she kept her nightly vigils, it is thought that she has fallen victim to the Viking raiders who are ravaging the country and the butterflies found resting on her body are taken to be a sign from God.
THE FIRST MURDER
1154, Oseney Priory, Oxford. When the first performance of The Play of Adam ends in tragedy, the author is compelled to pen a grim warning for the generations that follow: 'BEWARE THE SINS OF ENVY AND VAINGLORY, ELSE FOUL MURDER ENDS YOUR STORY'. But his words are not heeded, and as the play is performed in many guises throughout the ages, bad luck seems to follow after those involved in its production.
HILL OF BONES
Bath Abbey, 1199. The monks' peaceful existence is turned upside down when the Abbey's unpopular prior is found dead on Solsbury Hill. Sir Symon Cole and his wife, Gwenllian, arrive to investigate, and determined to get to the bottom of the suspicious circumstances surrounding the prior's death, Gwenllian launches a daring investigation that puts her in great danger, and Sir Symon accepts a challenge to visit the hill at night.
HOUSE OF SHADOWS
Bermondsey Priory, 1114. A young chaplain succumbs to the temptations of the flesh - and suffers a gruesome punishment. From that moment, the monastery is cursed and over the next five hundred years murder and treachery abound within its hallowed walls... Even the poet Chaucer finds himself drawn into the dark deeds and violent death which pervade this unhappy place.
KING ARTHUR'S BONES
1191. During excavation work at Glastonbury Abbey, an ancient leaden cross and skeletal remains are discovered. Inscribed on the cross are the words: Hic iacet sepultus inclitus rex arturius... Could these really be the remains of the legendary King Arthur and his queen, Guinevere? The mysterious Guardians are determined to keep the king's remains safe until the ancient legend is fulfilled and Arthur returns to protect his country in the hour of its greatest need.
THE LOST PROPHECIES
A mysterious book of prophecies, written by a sixth century Irish monk, has puzzled scholars through the ages. Foretelling wars, plagues and rebellions, the Black Book of Bran is said to have predicted the Black Death and the Gunpowder Plot. But only one thing is certain: whoever comes into possession of the cursed book meets a gruesome and untimely end...
SWORD OF SHAME
Five historical mystery writers bring their own characters to these interlinked tales, which tell the story of a cursed Norman sword. From a scandal in 13th century Venice to the battlefield of Poitiers in 1356, as the Sword of Shame passes from owner to owner, it brings nothing but bad luck and disgrace to all who possess it...