Italy, 1325. Eight years after the tumultuous events of THE MASTER OF VERONA, Pietro Alaghieri is living in exile in Ravenna, enduring the loss of his famous father while secretly raising Cesco, bastard heir to Verona's prince, Cangrande della Scala. But when word of Cangrande's death reaches him, Pietro must race back to Verona to prevent Cesco's rivals from usurping his rightful place. But young Cesco is determined not to be anyone's pawn. Willful and brilliant, he defies even the stars. And far behind the scenes is a mastermind pulling the strings, one who stands to lose - or gain - the most.
Born from Shakespeare's Italian plays, this novel explores the danger, deceit, and deviltry of early Renaissance Italy, and the terrible choices one must make just to stay alive.