1667 - London, England; a time of unrest, deceit, treachery, and values measured by self interests. Blade Bradley was a victim of his time.
Blade and his best friend, Bayard, are apprehended by the men of King Charles II. The charge is treason, the penalty - death.
Darnell Preston, Duke of Radcliff, appears as mysteriously as have the charges. The duke, confidante to the king, speaks on Blade and Bayards behalf. But, as the accused men discover, there is a highly unorthodox price to be paid for his intervention.
Blade has known the duke all of his life. Darnell often visited Blade in the orphanage where he grew up. He had seen to it that he had been well tutored and later aided him in obtaining a letter of marque. Through all those years the duke had never once mentioned a daughter. Now, the pay-back he sought for saving Blade and Bayard from the gallows was the marriage of Blade to the hitherto unknown girl.
Chandra Preston, the dukes daughter, was as much victimized by the times as was Blade. She preferred books to balls, the simplicity of the country to the decadence of the palace, and the company of a wise old woman who told her about the stars in the heavens. Her aloof detachment and captivating beauty made her one of the most sought after ladies of the court, yet she had spurned all suitors. She felt only repulsion at the thought of being with any among them. That was until the night of her birthday ball when she first saw Blade.