A cloak and sword romance from Taylor Caldwell, whose substantial family sagas have revolved around American industry heretofore, is news. And she does it well-for those who demand an occasional banquet of perilous adventure, young gallants, background of the Middle Ages, et al. Louis XIII was ruler of France, in name, Richelieu in fact, and the battle between Catholic and Huguenots was fought to a standstill with the fall of La Rochelle, the power of the great Huguenot lords destroyed by assassination and ruthless seizing of feudal estates. Against this is told the story of a young hothead who played with death for excitement, who became a member o a secret band for adventure, but who learned of other ways of thought and life as he slowly recovered from a desperate wound, in a squalid slum, tended by an old scholar, a lovely girl, a gentle priest. Good entertainment value; good history; escape reading today.