“The bag held a ring made of three separate gold bands twisted together. The two outer bands were fashioned into ornate sleeves, colored with enamel and studded with small jewels to resemble embroidery. A golden hand curved out of each sleeve, perfectly executed down to the tiny bones, slender tendons, and minute fingernails.”

Many, many readers have asked me about Ysabeau’s ring. Some can’t imagine what it looks like. Others wonder if it is real, or imaginary.

In general, I don’t make things up unless I have to! As a historian, I spend as much time as I can in libraries, archives, museums, and historical places. I love including real historical people, books, places, and all sorts of real items into the books. One of them was this stunning ring from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. As you can see, it resembles the ring Matthew gives to Diana quite closely.

I’ve posted this image before, but you might notice aspects of it in a new light if you’ve finished the trilogy: the three bands that become one, the inscription “my whole heart for my whole life” and its meaning in connection with Diana and Matthew’s relationship as it develops in the trilogy, the inscription “my beginning and my end” with respect to the ouroboros and the firedrake, and “remember the past, and that there is a future” and how it is linked to the themes of history and memory in the books.