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The year is 1210, and Ailith is at Windsor Castle witnessing the recovery of the bodies of Matilda de Braose and her eldest son, Will, from an oubliette beneath the floor of the round tower where they have been cruelly starved to death. First maid, then companion to Matilda, Ailith is caught up in the harrowing events that lead to them being incarcerated in a cold and lonely cell with no food, no water and at the end, no hope, and her story begins here. Taken into service at Bramber Castle in Sussex, in the year 1182, Ailith is inexorably drawn towards her new mistress, the ill-fated Matilda de Braose. She has no sooner arrived however, than she learns of William de Braose's reptuation as as a cruel and violent man following the massacre of Welsh princes at Abergavenny. William's ambitions lead him to be noticed by King John, and Ailith, the seventh child of the seventh child quickly realizes that their destinies are fatally entwined.

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