The Golden Cage

Crux Publishing Ltd
1
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"Pugh excels at weaving together different historical threads into a single narrative...The book is sure to appeal to fans of the works of Dan Brown and other conspiracy-curious storytellers." Kirkus Reviews


1565. Their last mission on behalf of the Lord Chancellor nearly got them killed. Now back in England, former soldier Matthew Longstaff and his Italian wife, Aurélie, are living quietly in the countryside when news arrives from France; their closest friend has disappeared.


In London, fledgling spy-master Francis Walsingham suspects a traitor on Queen Elizabeth’s Privy Council. In France, the physician Gaetan Durant is held at a secret location and forced to produce forgeries which will trigger a war. In Rome, the pope prepares a Bull of Excommunication against Elizabeth. Everything is connected. Trapped in this game of plot and counter-plot, Longstaff must journey to Paris in pursuit of his missing friend – and evidence of the enterprise taking shape against protestant England. Meanwhile in London, Aurélie’s attempts to track down the traitor lead to a lethal battle of wits against London’s most notorious astrologer.


Even if both succeed, it may already be too late. Wild, apocalyptic rumours race ahead of the separated lovers: of a lost Gospel in Christ’s own hand; of heretic queens and caged prophets. Only one thing seems certain – war is coming, an unholy inferno which threatens to consume all Europe…

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About the author

After studying art history in Glasgow, Tom Pugh invented a career as a travelling copywriter and teacher, living and working in London, Sydney and Tokyo before settling in Berlin with his wife and two children. The Golden Cage is his second novel.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Crux Publishing Ltd
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781909979826
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Historical / Renaissance
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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 “Pugh’s first novel is a magnificent achievement. Let us hope he returns to enthral us with another very soon.” 

David Dickinson, author of the Powerscourt series


The Otiosi? As far as Mathew Longstaff knows, they’re just a group of harmless scholars with an eccentric interest in the works of antiquity. When they ask him to travel east, to recover a lost text from Ivan the Terrible’s private library, he can’t think of anything but the reward – home. A return to England and an end to the long years of exile and warfare.

But the Otiosi are on the trail of a greater prize than Longstaff realises – the legendary ‘Devil’s Library’. And they are not alone. Gregorio Spina, the pope’s spymaster and chief censor, is obsessed with finding the Library. It’s not the accumulated wisdom of centuries he’s after – a swamp of lies and heresy in his opinion – but among the filth, like a diamond at the centre of the Devil’s black heart, Spina believes that God has placed a treasure, a weapon to defeat the Antichrist and pitch his hordes back into hell.

Only Longstaff, together with the unpredictable physician, Gaetan Durant, can stop Spina using the Library to plunge Europe into a second Dark Ages. The two adventurers fight their way south, from the snowfields of Muscovy to the sun-baked plains of Italy, where an ageing scholar and his beautiful, young protégé hold the final piece of the puzzle. But is it already too late? Can the four of them take on the might of the Roman Church and hope to win?

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Marry Me by Sundown and Beautiful Tempest brings her “mastery of historical romance” (Entertainment Weekly) to this dazzling Regency-era novel in which a disastrous debutante becomes the toast of the town with a little help from a friend of the Prince Regent’s.

Threatened by powerful enemies, William Blackburn, Earl of Ketterham, lives in exile in the Scottish Highlands with his daughter Vanessa. When she comes of age, William urges her to return to her mother in England to make her society debut. Raised with all the advantages and freedom a boy would have, Vanessa doubts she can fit into the world of ball gowns, parties, and high society. Nonetheless, she agrees to return to England, determined to end the vendetta against her father, never imagining the high price she will have to pay.

Lord Montgomery Townsend enjoys living on the edge, courting danger as he fixes potentially scandalous problems for the Prince Regent. While hiding out at the home of the Countess of Ketterham, Monty watches a disaster-in-the-making as his hostess tries to prepare her estranged daughter for a match with the pompous son of a powerful family. Puzzled as to why the fiercely independent Vanessa submits to being turned into a puppet and offered up to the arrogant rogue, Monty nonetheless steps in to make her dreams come true. But no good deed goes unpunished and soon he faces more pressing problems, including the temptation to upend Vanessa’s wedding plans so he can marry her himself.

Featuring Johanna Lindsey’s “signature blend of witty writing, charmingly unique characters” (Booklist), Temptation’s Darling is a passionate romance with a dash of humor that you won’t soon forget.
The brilliant #1 New York Times bestseller

With The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with her peerless, Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage.

The story begins in May 1536: Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.

Cromwell, a man with only his wits to rely on, has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to the breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. All of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune’s wheel turns, Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows. The inevitable question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry’s cruel and capricious gaze?

Eagerly awaited and eight years in the making, The Mirror & the Light completes Cromwell’s journey from self-made man to one of the most feared, influential figures of his time. Portrayed by Mantel with pathos and terrific energy, Cromwell is as complex as he is unforgettable: a politician and a fixer, a husband and a father, a man who both defied and defined his age.
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