An episodically crowded historical novel deals, more broadly, with the demobilization and domestication of a professional soldier whose life experience has been limited to war, and more specifically, with an almost confusing succession of conspiracies-political and amatory- in which young, handsome, virile Claude Solassier is engaged. Solassier, a former Bonapartist, is now adrift until the outrageously eccentric Royalist, Marquis de Seillans, takes him into her home- made even more attractive by the presence of her niece Francoise. She also helps him to hide his old Colonel and good friend, Cruas, until the two of them go off together- Cruas to become involved in a conspiracy and to betray (or so it seems) Solassier. Disillusioned Solassier returns to Francoise while also attracted to another woman. When Cruas contacts him again, he reveals that he is part of the attempt to bring Napoleon back. Solassier, now through with the fickle game of politics and war, refuses to collaborate and keeps Cruas a prisoner. So that as the Hundred Days draw to a close, Solassier is ready to become a family man- Cruas a man of God.... The improbable course of events, the quixotic tenor, give this a high-humored and picaresque disposition. More serious is the background on which it is based. Limited.