John Tradescant, gardener to Lord Cecil, depends on a well-ordered universe in which he serves a master, who serves the crown, who serves God. When James I succeeds Elizabeth, the social fabric begins to unravel. The disastrous rule of Charles I stirs more discontent among the people, including John's wife and son. As he searches for new plants and creates fabulous gardens for wealthy patrons, John witnesses court dissipation and corruption. His loyalty to Lord Buckingham, a man unsurpassed in beauty, ambition, and self-indulgence, changes John from servant to lover, bringing him guilt as well as pleasure before Buckingham's rejection. Gregory's (The Little House, LJ 10/1/96) strong plotting, intriguing characters, and rich evocation of a time and place will leave readers eager for the promised sequel about John's son. Highly recommended for historical fiction collections.Kathy Piehl, Mankato State Univ., MN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.