A less panoramic story than his previous titles (Knight With Armour or The Lady For Ransom) has for its heroine young Margaret, who greatly resembles The Lady in her ambition for recognition, prestige and public acclaim. The tale covers nine years, 1215 to 1224, and tells of Margaret's marriage at 14 to Baldwin de Redvers, the birth of her son, the death of her husband and the necessity of another marriage to provide a guardian for the baby. King John produces Falkes de Brealte, a Norman who is his seneschal, sheriff, castell and paid soldier, ""the best captain of crossbow in Christiandom"", and as his wife Margaret follows him and his loyal mercenaries as they guard the London road, fight for the new king, Henry III, in his troubled minority, and helps to defend Bedford castle under seige. But Falkes' downfall and loss of lands and power cause her to desert him and win public disdain. Here is the turn from chivalric life to practical, from feudal to realistic, and Duggan's alert scholarship reconstructs the conflicts of the period both physically and psychologically in remarkably fresh narration. Skilled.