I was really ready to not like this book. There’s so much that could go wrong with it: from racial tension around introducing “skraylings” into Elizabethan England to the perils of bringing – i.e. screwing up – Elizabethan England. It was with pleasant surprise that I found this book to be an engaging, page-turning read. The set-up: a lovable rogue who should be in the upper classes is slumming and failing to make ends meet, for his mad brother in Bedlam, and his best friend is gay and in love with him. Sounds like a awful set-up, but it kept me going.