Once again Deborah Alcock has delicately woven together an accurate historical novel. This book gives wonderful insights into some of the events surrounding the thirty-years-war in which Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden gives his life for the Protestant cause. But even amidst the ravages of war life continues to weave its story of intrigue, romance, loyalty, and treason.
Two motherless children, Jeanie and Hugh, have been in the care of their Uncle Charlie ever since their father left about eight years earlier to fight for the Protestant cause. Uncle Charlie, a restless bachelor, subsequently leaves the bulk of Jeanie and Hugh’s upbringing to the Presbyterian minister. He faithfully teaches these orphaned children the beautiful tenants of the Reformed faith. But when Uncle Charlie decides to leave his beloved Scotland to join the army of Gustavus Adolphus in Germany, Hugh wants to go along. Jeanie will go along as companion to Captain Stuart’s wife and meets Fraulein Gertrud von Savelburg in Germany. Sifting through the reports and rumours of the times she comes to some disturbing and perplexing conclusions. What has made Uncle Charlie so sad, and why does a Roman Catholic priest regularly visit Hugh? And then there is Jonker August von Lübeling, a page of Gustavus Adolphus, who alone knows the true reports of the King’s last hours. He promises Jeanie a Nuremberg egg, but not understanding German ways she misconstrues the meaning of this promise. Will she accept his precious gift?