A fascinating fantasy take on Elizabethan England.
The story centres around Will Swyfte who is the most famous spy in all of England. Only the title is a facade. He never went on any of the quests the stories about him refer to. The truth is he is a spy who fights against unseen arcane forces that threaten England's existence with the aid of the Spanish. They creatures he fights are referred to as the Enemy, demons, the Unseelie Court or the faery and they have preyed on humanity for centuries. But now as they hunt for something taken from them they have unleashed a deadly weapon in the shape of a silver skull mask. A mask that causes its victims to suffer death by disease.
In short however there are a ton of various plot twists, hidden agendas and motives and no one is fully trustworthy.
The 'hero' of the book is an enigmatic character full of darkness and various underlying currents. Far from being a typical hero he is a man of loose morals, who does what he does to protect England and to protect innocent people. In that regard he is a man of contradictions and a very realistic and gritty being. To add to that he is driven by his haunting past and what the Enemy did to him. Which all adds to the intrigue of the novel.
I will read the sequel just to find out what happens next and because it was a well constructed novel. Even if it did take a few liberties with history. But it was all worth it in the name of fantasy.