As the chaos of war spreads out across Europe, only England holds aloof from the great struggle that is to come. The 36-year-old Henry VIII presides over an opulent and glamorous court, thinking only of the woman with whom he has fallen in love. Into the midst of this politically sensitive and dangerous world, steps Richard Dansey, a young and ambitious jewel merchant, determined to escape his mother's stranglehold on the family firm after his father's early death. Richard's reckless pursuit of jewels worthy of Henry's wooing of Anne Boleyn leads him to Venice and Rome. Obsessed with one diamond, but dangerously distracted by love, Richard finds himself thrust into the heart of the murderous politics of Renaissance Europe, where he must fight for life itself.
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