Sequel to Young Henry of Navarre, which though sold as fiction, (as planned for this one), stands as a memorable biography of the youth of Henri IV. The period covered in this second volume embraces the years between the victory of Arques which made him king, to his assassination in 1610. Thrilling and glamorous and confusing years, difficult to follow without a thorough grounding in French history. Setting aside this hurdle, one recognizes that Mann succeeds in recreating the man and his period, his strengths and his weaknesses, wars within and wars without, politics, religion and custom at odds. The romance of his life, with Gabrielle d'EstrÃ‰es; and his pallid marriage with Marie de Medicis; the side issues which complicated his relations with his women and his people. His tragic determination to win popularity -- and his successive failures. His real contribution to some measure of tolerance, through the Edict of Nantes -- and his own compromises with conscience. An important book.