Recently widowed and still grieving, Cristiana Helyngton finds her life wrenched apart by her late husband's greedy and ambitious relatives, who are determined to have control of her lands and her daughters. Kidnapped, defamed, and imprisoned in a nunnery, she must find a way to save herself before she can save her children. For Dame Frevisse of St. Frideswide's nunnery, Cristiana is at first simply a duty among others, but questions rise and troubles deepen--and then turn deadly. Cristiana, to secure her freedom and save her daughters, must use a secret entrusted to her by her husband as he was dying-but it is a secret that could bring down those lords nearest the king and destroy, rather than save, those most dear to her. Frevisse, drawn into trouble far deeper than she initially imagined, must decide where her deepest loyalties lie: to the truth-or to England's peace. And whatever she chooses, in the end her help may be of little use against the ruthless men threatened by the secret on which all of Cristiana's hopes depend.