July 1193. King Richard Lionheart lies in a German prison, held for ransom by the emperor. His mother, Dowager Queen Eleanor, ransacks England for gold to buy his freedom, while his younger brother, John, plots with King Philippe of France to ensure that he rots and dies in chains.
When a ransom payment vanishes, Eleanor hastily dispatches young Justin de Quincy to investigate. In wild, beautiful Wales, his devotion to the queen will be supremely tested–as an arrogant border earl, a cocky Welsh prince, an enchanting lady, and a traitor of the deepest dye welcome him with false smiles and deadly conspiracies. The queen’s treasure is nowhere to be found, but assassins are everywhere . . . and blood runs red in the dragon’s lair.
About the Author
For many years while she was a student and then a lawyer, Sharon Kay Penman slowly but steadily worked on a novel about the life of Richard III. However, after finishing the manuscript, her only copy was stolen from her car in a busy parking lot. Devastated but resolved, Penman rewrote the entire novel, which became "The Sunne in Splendour". Originally published in 1982, it became a favorite of readers and critics alike, and she soon quit her job to write full-time. Penman is the author of several critically acclaimed historical novels and medieval mysteries, one of which, "The Queen's Man, " was a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best First Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America.
“Once you enter Penman’s world, you’re hooked.”
“Penman writes about the medieval world and its people with vigor, compassion, and clarity.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
“Welcome to twelfth-century English and Welsh politics by way of this riveting and rich mystery novel.”
“A polished and absorbing historical mystery."