When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods - and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital? Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is appointed to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems.
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Exiled from the court of Queen Elizabeth for accusing a powerful nobleman of treason, swordsman-turned-spy Mal Catlyn has been living in France with his young valet, Coby Hendricks, for the past year. But Mal harbours a darker secret: he and his twin brother share a soul that once belonged to a skrayling, one of the mystical creatures from the New World.
Elizabethan spy Mal Catlyn has everything he ever wanted - his twin brother Sandy restored to health, his family estate reclaimed and a son to inherit it - and while his work is far from over, Mal still has a slim chance of eliminating his enemies whilst they are at their weakest. With Sandy's help, Mal learns to harness his own magic in the fight against the guisers, but it may be too late to save England. Schemes set in motion decades ago are at last coming to fruition, and the barrier between the dreamlands and the waking world is wearing thin…