'Once there was a gypsy queen who wore on her wrist a chain of six lucky charms - a golden crown, a silver horse, a butterfly caught in amber, a cat's eye shell, a bolt of lightning forged from the heart of a falling star, and the flower of the rue plant, herb of grace. The queen gave each of her six children one of the charms as their lucky talisman, but ever since the chain of charms was broken, the gypsies had been dogged with misfortune.
'It is even worse for the Finch tribe - they have been thrown into gaol with only three weeks to live. The only members of the family to escape are thirteen-year-old Emilia and her cousin Luka, who have been entrusted to find the six charms and bring them together again. What Emilia and Luka do not realise is that there is a price to be paid for each lucky charm, and that the cost may prove too high...' (Publication summary)
Emilia and her cousin Luka have the gypsy crown, and are travelling with their menagerie in search of the Hearne tribe. They hope that 'this family, to whom they will soon be related, will surely help release their kin from gaol.
'Luka and Emilia find the Hearnes horseracing on the Downs above Epsom. But Emilia must compete to win their support. Will she have to give up her beloved mare in exchange for the Hearne family's charm - a small silver horse? And can they escape Coldham again?' (Publication summary)
'Luka and Emilia must travel to the New Forest to find the Wood tribe, whose charm is a rue flower, the herb of grace. Its power is that of plants and herbs - which can both heal and poison.
'On the way, the two children tangle with an impoverished widow, the thief-taker Coldham, a highwayman and a witch, and find themselves caught up in a Royalist plot to restore King Charles II to his throne.' (Publication summary)
'Having acquired the first three charms in the quest to secure their family's freedom, Luka and Emilia flee into Sussex with soldiers hot on their heels, in company with a Royalist duke, a Catholic priest, a highwayman and young Tom Whitehorse.
'Only the Catholic underground can help them all escape – but this is a most dangerous religion in the time of Puritan rule. And Emilia and Luka still must find the elusive gypsy tribe of the cat's eye shell, who, it seems, have turned to smuggling...' (Publication summary)
'Sussex was the first county secured by the Roundheads because of its iron foundries. Here in the Weald, the Smith tribe are working for Parliament, making cannons and weaponry.
'They have prospered under Cromwell's rule, and have no interest in old gypsy charms. And it is here where Luka and Emilia must find the fifth charm, a finely-wrought lightning bolt, and amidst the smoke and noise of the Horsmonden foundry, the gypsy children run into old friends... and old enemies.' (Publication summary)