Spain in the years before the Armada, and high passion meets high politics. Ana, Princess of Eboli, heiress of Spain's leading family, widow of Philip II's wisest counsellor and rumoured to be the King's mistress, falls unexpectedly in love with Don Antonio Perez, dandy, adulterer, skilled politician. With her unusual looks, her aristocratic arrogance and the simplicities of her faith, Ana cannot understand why her private life should become entangled with the affairs of state and, finally, incur the terrible vindictiveness of the King himself. . . Kate O'Brien's understanding and love of Spain enhance the beauty of this passionate and intelligent novel.