A long, boisterous, roistering tale of post-Revolutionary France and the Chouan-royalist fight to re-establish the monarchy, turned out in period rhetoric and trimmings. A socially obscure but skilful Master at Arms is the lion-hearted hero, who inherits a vast estate in France too late. The Revolution has intervened. The lustrous eyes of his lady love lure him into crossing the path of two blackguard cousins, in his attempt to buy it back. He is drawn into the melee, he spends time and effort to lead the Chouans and monarchists to victory -- but the cause fails. The book is a long saga of sword and spirit, mutiny within and treachery without, but romance wins though the cause loses, and the readers of Searamouche et al will like it. As for me -- I think Sabatini has lost his magic touch.