This historical tale has a magnficently wintry opening:
The snow had come early, blanketing the land on All Souls’ Eve and re-covering it at regular intervals, up to and beyond the Solstice. Old Scratch had never known such a persistent piling up of the stuff. Day in, day out it came, with drifts touching what passed for his roof and no respite, not even on melt days, because the melting only went so far before the sky turned goose-grey again and down came another load, white upon white upon white.
When Tony Bradman reviewed this novel for The Guardian he said of it:
Julie Hearn writes with real skill, her style equally at home with the natural and supernatural, with rude mechanicals and over-reaching Tudor courtiers, with fairy-tale tropes and psychological realism. All the elements are familiar, but the final result is one of genuine originality.