A sweeping saga of lust, conspiracy, and betrayal, The Innocent is a bold and gripping tale of forbidden love set in fifteenth-century England.
The year is 1450, a dangerous time in medieval Britain. Civil unrest is at its peak and the legitimacy of the royal family is suspect. Meanwhile, deep in the forest of western England, a baby is born. Powerful forces plot to kill both mother and child, but somehow the newborn girl survives. Her name is Anne.
Fifteen years later, England emerges into a fragile but hopeful new age, with the charismatic young King Edward IV on the throne. Anne, now a young peasant girl, joins the household of a wealthy London merchant. Her unusual beauty provokes jealousy, lust, and intrigue, but Anne has a special quality that saves her: a vast knowledge of herbs and healing. News of her extraordinary gift spreads, and she is called upon to save the ailing queen. Soon after, Anne is moved into the palace, where she finds her destiny with the man who will become the greatest love of her life -- the king himself.
- Atria Books, March 2004
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