A cloak and dagger tale of the days when Hugucnot and Catholic battled for power in a troubled period of France's history. The year was 1572. The young king was swayed by now one party, now another, while his mother, Catherine de Medici, strove for stability of France, and earned undying hatred. Antoine de Lasquenet, son of Catherine's chief Italian advisor, was returning to Paris and his father, when fate plunged him into the midst of the troubles as he - and a Magyar comrade, ran foul of an attack on one of the Queen Mother's maidens. From then on Antoine got deeper and deeper into difficulties, often of his own making in his hot-headed and heedless courage and temerity, often because he was attempting to follow out half- comprehended loyalties. The story builds up to the horrors of St. Bartholomew's Eve, which cost the senior de Lasquenet his life, and brought Antoine into unwavering enmity against his father's enemy, the traitor responsible for much of the confusion of issues. Before the story ends, right has triumphed, Antoine escaped incredible perils, and love has won through the fog of doubt. Read as straight costume adventure, with historical implications. It is a good job. Beyond that, it suffers from attempting too much within one man's story. Echoes of a childhood passion for Bertha Runkle's of Navarre perhaps colored my reactions. Much the same market as his earlier Captain of the Medict- 1954.