England 1441: Lady Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, hopes to become Queen of England before her interest in astrology and her husband’s ambition leads their enemies to accuse her of a plot against the king. Eleanor is found guilty of sorcery and witchcraft. Rather than have her executed, King Henry VI orders Eleanor to be imprisoned for life. More than a century after her death, carpenters restoring one of the towers of Beaumaris Castle discover a sealed box hidden under the wooden boards. Thinking they have found treasure, they break the ancient box open, disappointed to find it only contains a book, with hand-sewn pages of yellowed parchment. Written in a code no one could understand, the mysterious book changed hands many times for more than five centuries, between antiquarian book collectors, until it came to me. After years of frustrating failure to break the code, I discover it is based on a long forgotten medieval dialect and am at last able to decipher the secret diary of Eleanor Cobham.
10th Century Wales is a country divided, with the kingdom of the south becoming Saxon and the north violently defending the old ways. The inevitable civil war is brutal and savage in this tale of divided loyalty and revenge, treachery and love.
Kings and queens battle for control of the country, with wealth and glory for the victor and death and ruin for the loser.
The bishops of Wales struggle to keep the faith while knights and war lords turn events to advantage and the lives of ordinary people are changed forever by the conflict.
Queen Sacrifice is also a legendary tactic in the ancient game of chess. The narrative faithfully follows EVERY move in the queen sacrifice game, known as “The Game of the Century” between Donald Byrne and 13-year-old Bobby Fischer in New York City on October 17th, 1956.