Henry of Navarre was born no nearer than ninth in line to the French throne. How he rose out of a rustic background and an unhappy home, survived the designs of Catherine de Medici, and fought his way through the bloody turmoil between Catholics and Protestants in 16th Century France to become one of her most vital, just, and beloved kings is the story told here. It is told well, though not brilliantly. The author has obviously done serious research; he even describes the old French countryside as if he had just seen it. If the overall tone is a bit bland, it is probably because of the author's attempt to bring the violence and complexities of the period into the range of his young readers. One may still appreciate this solid, and at times lively, account of a great man's life.