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THE POYSON GARDEN is a heady, intoxicating novel detailing the dangerous times of Tudor England. Harper paints a rich story of passion and intrigue, and creates a credible scenario of death and danger in the sixteenth century. Her portrayal of the future Queen is stunning, and as readers, we are awed and wait eagerly for more.

During the reign of Bloody Mary in England, Princess Elizabeth walks a tightrope between life and death. There is nothing she can do to please her sister, and in fact, the Queen has banished her to live with a family loyal to Mary.

When Elizabeth learns that her beloved aunt, is still alive despite rumors of her death, Elizabeth devises a plan to secretly visit. She is shocked to learn that her aunt is being poisoned and that the Boleyns have been meeting with fatal accidents.

When Elizabeth returns secretly to her place of residence, she uncovers evidence that she is also being stalked. The times are dangerous and there are few she can trust. With a very small but loyal group of followers, she hatches a plan to uncover the plot against her, realizing that if her search ends at Mary's door, her fate is sealed.

(Mar., 310 pp., $21.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg