The British empire was on the verge of revolution and at the centre of events are the Stuart sisters: Mary the Queen, and Anne the Queen-to-be, continually haunted by the memory of their father, James II, whom they have wronged.
When Harry Clifton is elected the new president of English PEN, he immediately launches a campaign for the release of a fellow author, Anatoly Babakov. Babakov's crime? Writing a book called Uncle Joe, an insight into what it was like to work for Josef Stalin. So determined is Harry to see Babakov released and the book published, that he puts his own life in danger. Emma Clifton, now the chairman of Barrington Shipping, is facing the repercussions of the IRA attack on the Buckingham. Some board members feel she should resign, but her son Sebastian Clifton, is determined that she'll remain Chairman. Once again, Giles's political career is thrown off balance by none other than his old adversary, Major Alex Fisher.