In the spring of 1585, seven English ships sailed around Cape Feare and up the windswept coast of Florida. Their mission: to gain a foothold in the Americas, a gateway to riches, an island fortress against the Spanish. But within ten years, the vibrant new colony had vanished without a trace.… In Hampton Court, Elizabeth is under siege--surrounded by sycophants, spies, and assassins who stalk her every move. Among those charged with protecting her is a tall, charismatic spy named Gabriel North…and when the queen's advisers persuade her to send ships to the Americas, North is given a job for which he is perfectly suited: to seduce Roanoke's Secota princess and gain information about a fabled treasure hidden in the wilderness. In Princess Naia, North meets a woman who bewitches him utterly--and he soon sees the dangerous deceptions from which his mission was born. As war and calamity crash down on Roanoke Island, Gabriel North becomes a wanted man in a desperate hunt that will lead back across the Atlantic--into a trap set by his enemies, and into a shocking act of treachery that swirls around Elizabeth herself…. With the grace of a master storyteller, Margaret Lawrence brings to life a cast of brave hearts and blackguards, petty criminals and grand schemers, who play their roles in a searing drama of conquest, rule, and rebellion.