If this second of the season's biographies on the life of Isabella of Valois fails to achieve the urgency, the poignancy or the earlier Hilda Lewis interpretation, The Gentle Falcon (report on p. 350) it is nonetheless a distinguished study, with other redeeming strengths. Here, the love the seven year old girl bore for her husband Richard, England's king, is a child's love, supplanted later by her feeling for Charles, the prince whom she married after Richard's death. (In contrast Hilda Lewis' biography gave us a child who loved with ""a love that was more than love"" -- a child wrung with homesickness for France, who was nonetheless the star to Richard's moods.) This biography carries through her second marriage and her death at 21 in childbirth and gives a little clearer focus on the court intrigues as well as the reigning French family. But Hilda Lewis gave us a vision of Richard, half-mad with suspicions and treachery, sustained by the indissoluble loyalty of his miniature queen which was altogether unforgettable. Hard luck two books on this theme come together.