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By Philippa Gregory, Fred van Deelen, Sally Taylor

Behind the Book

Dear Reader, 
I have been lucky enough to meet many fans over the years, and have loved seeing so many young adult readers among them. Through signings and school visits, I know my young adult readers are enthusiastic, smart, and loyal. I’m so pleased to be writing a series especially for them!

I have particularly enjoyed this new series because I have created the characters rather than drawn them from history. I wrote two great heroines: one is the daughter of a Crusader and the other is the daughter of a Moorish woman who is skilled in medicine, language and Arabic science. But I had the most fun writing the character of Luca Vero, the hero of the story. He is a changeling priest, brilliant and gorgeous, travelling with his best friend and servant, but cast as a heretic and sent to the Vatican in Rome, where he expects to be punished or executed.

I have set these four remarkable characters in the volatile time when most of Christendom thought the world was ending. They are brought together through quite extraordinary circumstances, and though they must maneuver within the constraints of the period, all four are infused with passion and secrets. And they are careening toward an end goal the likes of which they have never even imagined.

I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please feel free to let me know what you think by e-mailing me at

Best wishes,

Philippa Gregory