Gertrude, the protagonist, is a smart woman who has many ideas to improve the lives of the people of Vitenka. If only the men around her listened to her.
I liked how the author equates the royal court to a court of animals. A weak king Herod, conspirers plotting for their own wealth and success, men waiting in the wings to seize power when the king fails, and a political uprising serves as the backdrop to the tale.
Not only does Gertrude need to unravel the web of treachery. She also needs to listen to her heart. Both are easier said than done.
A weighty set of supporting characters in Galina, Sam, Absalom, Herod, and Breyton keep us engaged and hooked to the story unfolding on the pages. Gertrude is a flawed character with a heart, and that makes her all the more interesting. Plenty of action, drama, and love to get us to turn the pages. Writing a satisfactory ending in a tale like this is not trivial, and the author pulls it off.
Recommend: For readers of political intrigues, historical fiction, and lovers of the game of thrones.