The tragic, moving, and gripping story of the ascendance and fall of Katherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, and the best friend she nearly dragged down with her When twelve-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolks household she could not be more different than her poor relation, Cat Tilney. Yet, of all their companions, it is Cat, watchful and ambitious, to whom the seemingly frivolous young girl confides. When Katherine is summoned to the royal court at seventeen--to become, months later, the wife of Henry VIII after he casts off his previous queen--she leaves behind an ex-lover, Francis, with whom Cat is soon passionately involved. But a future that seems assured for the pampered new queen and her maid-in-waiting lasts a brief year and a half, only to be imperiled by improper acts and scandalous allegations of girlhood love affairs. Imprisoned in the Tower and hoping to escape a most terrible fate, a frightened, desperate Katherine relates a version of events that only Cat recognizes as a lie--as more than one life is threatened by what she alone knows to be the truth about Katherine Howards past.