This is a lavish story of the early 15th century, of battle on the Welsh-English border, and of a turbulent time filled with freaks and witches, heretics and outcasts. Simon Beaumont is 17, the born-crippled son of a lord who has tried for miraculous cures all his life. For while Simon's family is also variously maimed and scarred, so is his land- ravaged by Owen Glendower's raids. Still Simon is drawn to the Welsh and he rides over the border and becomes the lover of the witch-woman Eva, blinding himself to the fact that the Welsh are stealing iron for weapons and spreading heresy. Only after he has witnessed a trial- in London, does Simon return with a sense of the wisdom of the church, an appreciation of the peaceful English countryside, and the plague. Most of his town dies of the plague, or of starvation in the following winter, and there are few left to defend it when the Welsh attach. The faithless Eva further betrays him- but Simon, the cripple, survives to be man, lord and English.... The story, if it is too rich in bizarre and savage incidents for some tastes, still conveys a queer feeling of a violent and superstitious time.