Is love strong enough to save a kingdom and stop history from repeating itself?
Goldfinch in the Thistle follows the lifelong love story of James V, King of Scotland, and his mistress, Maggie Erskine.
Marriage is impossible, even after Maggie gives birth to a royal son. Margaret Tudor, the king’s mother, longs to bring her son and her brother Henry VIII into an alliance with a marriage to an English noble or princess and fulfill her promise to her father to join Scotland and England together. Meanwhile the King’s secretary, Thomas Erskine, who has a salacious secret, encourages a royal French marriage. Both James and Maggie know that a royal marriage—something which Maggie cannot provide—will bring much needed money to build Scotland and keep the King’s uncle from subsuming it under England’s cloak.
But when the new Queen of Scots finally arrives at Stirling Castle, what will it mean for Maggie and her son?
Set in sixteenth century Scotland against the background of the Protestant Reformation, the Renaissance in northern Europe, and the reign of Henry VIII, Goldfinch in the Thistle is a story of unfulfilled promises, loyalties, and shifting perspectives.