Following in the wake of the Battle of Hastings' anniversary, this, as the subtitle indicates, honors yet again the favorite historic occasion. The Red Lion -- the Norman standard --inevitably wins the day, but reader sympathy is directed here to England's Gold Dragon. The conflict between Norman and Saxon is apparent within the household of Storches Hundred--the demesne of Baron Ansculf, whose French stepson Tancred would like to take control of the land away from Ansculf and his true son Aelfred. Tancred's treachery, manifested after Ansculf and Aelfred have gone to join the forces of Harold Godwineson, includes breaking his oath of loyalty and a thwarted attempt to frame Aelfred and seize his property and his betrothed Adelaide. The focus shifts among the separate activities of Aelfred, Adelaide, and Tancred. None of the characters are firmly delineated, the romance between Aelfred and Adelaide is whole-hearted but only half-convincing, and the three-way intrigue is too drawn out with unnecessary complexities. William the Conqueror's reaction is ""your story is either the most fantastic lie or the most fantastic truth ever told,"" but reader reaction will accept a middle, much milder evaluation. The historical background on Harold's defeat is solid, and this is one of the few historical novels on the subject with a feminine orientation.