"Amid the turmoil of the English Reformation, the brilliant young mathematician and astronomer John Dee has one overwhelming obsession: liberty. Elsewhere, abandoned and humiliated, the young Elizabeth Tudor has one simple aim: survival. What will happen when these two are thrown together by circumstances neither can fully anticipate or control? This is their story as Dee and the mysterious brotherhood of the Rose Lodge - working against almost insurmountable odds and threatened by a vengeful and unforgiving queen - attempt to guide the nation towards enlightenment and stability. Here, a parallel universe of secrecy and faith is revealed in which the unseen forces of nature support all that is visible and real - a place, too, where the special alchemy of the Virgin and the Crab works its magic, growing from childhood friendship, through adolescent flirtation to mutual respect and admiration as together they prepare to sacrifice everything for the world they wish to inherit."