In 1817, a young Spanish aristocrat, Tessa Alvarado (Tessie Santiago), returns to Spanish California after the death of her father and finds her home in ruins, her father's manservants reduced to stealing. The town where she was born is run by a militaristic governor who abuses his power, resulting in the miscarriage of justice and the poor living conditions of his subjects. Upset about the state of her birth place and the murder of her father, Tessa's path is revealed to her in a mysterious dream where her father comes to her and talks of his murder, his hidden gold, and of his "Avenging Angel". She will take up arms to protect the people from the town's governor and to avenge her father's death. Tessa will do this in disguise behind a mask, becoming that "Avenging Angel", The Queen of Swords.As the Queen of Swords, Tessa becomes a vision of hope for the people who live in her long oppressed town. She is helped by her long time friend and servant, Marta (Paulina Gálvez), a gypsy employed to look after her when she was sent, at the age of 7, by her father to stay with her uncle and three cousins in Madrid. Marta has great knowledge of the tarot. The Queen of Swords name comes from one of Marta's tarot cards.Tessa's biggest enemy in the town is Colonel Luis Montoya (Valentine Pelka), the corrupt and tyrannical governor. Montoya is ruthless and cares little for human life other than his own. He believes in executions without fair trials, enslaves the poor people of the town, and blackmails the powerful Dons.Montoya is aided by his right hand man, Captain Marcus Grisham (Anthony Lemke), an American deserter who escaped execution for killing his commanding officer during the War of 1812. His own self interests test his loyalty to Montoya on a number of occasions and the mission of ridding Montoya of the troublesome Queen of Swords, which his soldiers have a hard time accomplishing due in part to the inaccurate single shot weapons. Grisham is helped by Vera (Elsa Pataky), the unfaithful trophy wife of Don Hidalgo (Tacho González), working as a spy for him.The Queen occasionally crosses paths with Dr. Robert Helm (Peter Wingfield), an English doctor employed by Montoya who believes in saving lives rather than taking them after his experiences as an officer in the Napoleonic Wars. He has little patience for Tessa, believing her to be a spoiled member of the nobility, and less for the Queen of Swords, despising her because of her use of violence. Helm's relationship with The Queen intensifies throughout the series as events throw them together in life threatening situations.Queen of Swords aired for eight episodes before being canceled. All 22 episodes are currently available on DVD, but only in France.
The series contains examples of: