A biff-and-bop, white-helmet/black-helmet tale that takes place in border country between England and Wales in 1098-1102. The main attraction here, however, is the initially rocky marriage of a hearty young noble and his shy wife. Will-she-won't-she-and-if- so-when takes precedence over the wars. Judith of Ravenstow, daughter (supposedly) of a crude lout who battered both wife and daughter, is not especially eager for marriage and possibly more of the same. But then she's wed to handsome Guyon, Lord of Ledworth and a thoroughly good sort. Guyon postpones the Big S for little kindnesses, and he begins to realize that Judith is made of sterner stuff than she shows in bed. Meanwhile, there are enemies to attend to--rotten barons who adore killing and maiming the innocent and who are skilled in land grabs. When King Rufus is killed in a hunting accident (the ancient whodunit is not pursued here), Guyon and his father Miles--in love with Judith's mother Alice, who has a swell secret about Judith's parentage--join Henry I. Judith shows her mettle at the close while Guyon is busy with boiling oil, grappling hooks, and whistling arrows soaked in pitch. As for the marriage bed: once Judith forgives Guyon for his Welsh mistress, it's a jolly refuge. A bouncy historical--weightless but agreeable.