In 1572, the good looking and talented Nicholas Hillyarde paints the first of many portraits of Elizabeth I, England's "Virgin Queen". His ability to capture the likeness of his patrons makes him famous, and his skills are much sought after by the rich and powerful members of the Elizabethan Court.
His loyalty to Elizabeth even leads him to becoming part of Sir Francis Walsingham's information network. One day he is approached by a young man with an intriguing commission. Hillyarde is to paint the man holding a lady's hand - a hand which descends from a cloud - complete with a puzzling motto: Attici Amoris Ergo.
There is something familiar about this young man's face, and Hillyarde is led down a dark path of investigation to discover who this young man may be. Who is the young man? Has Hillyarde stumbled across a dark royal secret, and, if so, is there evidence hidden elsewhere?
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