When Helen Gloag runs away from her Scottish village in 1769 to seek a new life overseas, she never imagines what fate has in store for her. Yet before the year is out she will have become Queen of Morocco, one of four wives to the cruel and charismatic Emperor Sidi Mohammed.
Helen is transformed from a peasant girl into a pampered but captive mistress. Her home is the glittering harem in Marrakech, crammed with a thousand concubines and overflowing with jewels, silks and spices. But she soon realized that, for all its luxury, there is a deadly danger lurking at the heart of this mysterious court . . .
Based on a true story, The Fourth Queen is a compulsive account of an extraordinary time and place, and of one young woman's journey towards maturity and love.
Debbie Taylor is editor of Mslexia, the fastest-growing literary magazine in the UK. She lives in Newcastle with her family and this is her first novel.