On an outing from her boarding school, young Lucia meets Manuel art historian and exquisite storyteller who shares with her the tale of one of history's most tumultuous loves: Queen Juana of Castile's legendary devotion to her husband, Prince Philippe the Handsome. Embracing a union thrust upon her by political necessity, Juana responds with all the passionate abandon inherent in her fiery nature and is forced to pay a high price for her honest sensuality. For there are those at the Renaissance court who will not allow such unabashed independence in the heir to one of the world's most powerful empires and they declare Juana mad, denying her ascension to the throne. But is she truly insane, or is she merely a victim of her own impetuosity and unbridled desire? Or is Juana a pawn in a fierce power struggle for control of the throne?
Lucia attends raptly to the tale Manuel relates and their own story begins to miraculously, dangerously mirror that of Juana the Mad and her beloved prince."e;