SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, 1636
It’s spring in Burgundy. The flowers are out and so are the cardinals — of Pope Urban’s renegade papacy, now on the run from the Vatican’s would-be usurper Borja. Most of the Church’s senior leaders have converged upon the city of Besancon, where the Pope plans to offer an ecumenical olive branch to the other Christian denominations with which Rome has been at war.
Fortunately, Urban has up-time help. He can rely upon Cardinal-Protector Larry Mazzare’s theological savvy, Sharon Nichols’ medical skills, and her husband Ruy Sanchez’s keen-eyed experience as a body-guard-in-chief. And even though Urban has a new Papal Guard in the form of Owen Rowe O’Neill’s Wild Geese , Mike Stearns has loaned the Pope a small contingent of the Hibernian Battalion — just in case.
Which is prudent, since Urban and his peace initiative are not merely at risk from Borja’s assassins. There is another, more deadly, team of professional killers in town, directed by the man who almost killed the Pope before: lethal Spanish mastermind Pedro Dolor.
Dolor hasn’t come to confess murder — he’s come to commit it.
Charles E. Gannon is the author of Compton Crook Award-winning, Nebula-nominated Fire with Fire, Trial by Fire, and Raising Caine in the Caine Riordan series. He is the coauthor with Eric Flint of 1636: The Papal Stakes and 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies in Eric Flint's best-selling Ring of Fire series. With best seller Steve White, Gannon is the coauthor of Starfire series entries Extremis, Imperative, and Oblivion. Gannon is also the author of multiple short stories. He is a member of SIGMA, the “SF think-tank,” which has advised various intelligence and defense agencies since the start of the millennium. A former professor, Gannon lives near Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife and children.