Hugh Corbett, senior clerk in Edward's Royal Chancery, meanders through 13th-century England, France, and Wales to rout a secret agent who has infiltrated his King's court and is passing information on to Phillip IV of France. When the spy's treachery causes a ship to be sunk and two of Edward's special envoys in France to be murdered, Hugh and Ranulf (his body-servant) are dispatched to Paris--where old nemesis Amaury de Craon schemes for the French crown; a beggar assassin almost butchers Hugh; and clues point to Edward's clerk Waterton as the traitor. Then, after a Welshman is decapitated for trying to warn Edward of secret doings, Hugh heads off to Neath and the Keep of Lord Morgan; there, he falls in love with Maeve, the Lord's niece; barely escapes with his life, and is soon en route to France again to prove/disprove the Morgan-Phillip-Waterton connection. Has Waterton been framed? Is Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, to blame? How does the treacherous spy pass on his messages? Eventually, Hugh discovers the method and the manipulator--and in typical gory medieval fashion, the spy is executed. Dull, slogging, and not up to Doherty's roistering standards.