1210 and a black force is sweeping England. For a vengeful King John has seized control of the Church, leaving corpses to lie in unconsecrated ground, babies unbaptized in their cradles and the people terrified of dying in sin. And in the village of Gastmere, the consequences grow darker still when Elena, a servant girl, is dragged into a conspiracy to absolve the sins of the lord of the manor. As the terrors that soon begin to plague Elena's sleep grow darker, in desperation she visits the cunning woman, who has been waiting for just such an opportunity to fulfil an ancient curse conjured at the gallows.Elena, haunted by this curse and threatened with death for a crime she didn't commit, flees the village ... only to find her nightmare has barely begun.For treachery lurks in every shadow as King John's brutal reign makes enemies of brothers, murderers of virgins and sinners of us all.
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