It is the dawn of the second millennium, when royal daughters are traded like pawns, a captured queen can shatter a realm, and the birth of a child can trigger internecine war. It is a time of superstitious beliefs, when ghosts walk the halls of power and when fear of the supernatural governs the actions of men. In 1002 fifteen-year-old Emma, sister of the Duke of Normandy, arrives in England to wed King Æthelred II, a man haunted by past sins who greets his peaceweaving bride with suspicion. Mistrusted by her husband, resented by her stepsons, and threatened by the schemes of a bewitching rival, Emma is caught in a web of courtly intrigue; and when a Viking army invades she is caught between mortal enemies vying for the same throne. This is a story about marriage and honor, about desperate yearning, and about a queen whose choices will dictate England’s future.