1559. Freed after a stint in the galleys, the Scottish Reformer John Knox is fired up with his mission as God’s messenger to strike at the roots of papistry. Prophet without honor in his own land, he is welcomed as chaplain to Edward VI in England. But by challenging the liturgy of the English Protestant Church, he makes dangerous enemies.
With Edward’s untimely death and the accession of the Catholic Mary Tudor, Knox is forced to flee her fires of persecution. Despite the ever-present peril of capture, the fiery Scot criss-crosses Europe to ask the leading Reformation scholars his burning question – whether it is lawful to depose an ungodly monarch.
While no answer is forthcoming, his plea has not gone unheeded. Someone is willing to commit regicide in his name. When the Protestant Elizabeth I succeeds the throne, Knox hopes to return with his young wife and family and resume his mission in England.
However, while the charismatic preacher may have attracted a flock of female admirers, his polemical tract, The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, has antagonized Queen Elizabeth. But will Knox be welcome in Scotland where the Lords of the Congregation are plotting revolution in the name of religion? Where his godmother, Elisabeth Hepburn, and the queen regent, Marie de Guise, are striving to stem the rising tide of reform and keep the throne for Mary Queen of Scots? Will the secret assassin achieve his aim?
The Second Blast of the Trumpet not only dramatizes the trials and tribulations the Scottish firebrand faces in his fight against idolatry and adultery but peels away the layers of this contradictory character to reveal a friend, husband and lover of women – in striking contrast to the Calvinistic, misogynistic caricature of popular imagination.