The story is intriguing but perhaps a bit too intricate, as events are presented in vignettes that go back and forth in time, winter and then the previous summer and back again. The intricacy is my only problem with the book, whose characters I adore and an author I admire.
Henry Dodd did not really want to have Robert Carey killed, but the thread of the book goes there more than once. Janet his wife does want a child to secure Dodd's land but at what expense?
The complicated plot against the Scots King James is because Elizabeth will die soon ( see the book the Duke of York) and bring the Spanish and English under James' control.
Lady Elizabeth is still with her " her elderly, abusive husband" but I know that will end also and she will be with Robert Carey ( Duke of York book). Did Henry Dodd really die at the end? I am not sure but since we are left with that impression a sequel will be in order.
I suggest reader start with Book # 1 of the series ( there is a special price for that) and get to this point..Well worth every one!! I give it 4.5 for the hard to follow parts ( a paper book which is NOT an ARC might be easier to go backwards with)