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The book plots the bloody feud between two great Scottish earldoms during the sixteenth-century. This is a story of passions, and follies, of courage and crime. It is set before a backdrop of the tragic life of Mary Queen of Scots, deposed by her own half brother, the first earl of Moray, the Machiavellian nature of court politics, and the extraordinary success of James VI, who managed to hold sway over feuding and arrogant nobles, and ultimately protect his favourite, the sixth earl of Huntly from retribution for the killing of his rival.