By Marie Brennan.
This book seamlessly combines history with faerie conspiracy in a chillingly plausible manner. Michael Deven, seeking advancement in Queen Elizabeth's court, is set a puzzle by Walsingham, one of the Queen's spymasters: identify the hidden player in the intrigues of court. On the other side, Lady Lune struggles to survive and regain her favored position in the hidden court beneath the city.
You might call this urban fantasy, but it is very different from the usual. Political intrigue, tantalizing hints of hidden plots (some never revealed), and romance combine to form a book worth savoring, although I should mention that I started it with the expectation of enjoying it and others have remarked that it opens slowly. The ending is quite satisfying, pulling together many of the clues dropped over the course of the novel.
I do have some reservations about whether I would have been as quickly sympathetic to Lady Lune as I was since I read this interview shortly before reading the book, but she does eventually show a softer side.
Definitely recommended, and quite clean except for a relatively minor amount of violence.
As an aside, the pattern inlaid on the cover is quite lovely, as is the book's website. The publisher seems to have gone to some lengths to promote this book.