There's a readymade market for each successive novel by Thomas Costain, author of the popular Black Rose, masterhand in that slow pace of story telling that allows for a multitude of detail, colorful costuming, period facts, amplification of historical and political issues. This is the story of the career of the furrier of Bourges, who became the financial power behind Charles VII of France,- Jacques Cour. His loyalty to the king's mistress, the dying Agnes Sorol inaugurated the search for her successor, and the orphan-founding, Valerie Marot, was chosen to be trained for the King's next lady. But young d'Arlay had other ideas -- and so did Valerie- and even Moneyman when he learned Valerie's true identity, made a sudden switch in plans. Their flight from the King's search for Valerie came to nothing when they were arrested for poisoning Agnes, and at the trial, Moneyman and Valerie came near to receiving death sentence. D'Arlay's forfeiting the King's friendship freed them and D'Arlay and Valerie were reunited. Against the romance is the embroidery of the tradition of Joan of Arc, the war with England, and the end of the chivalric age, with the introduction of guns; the intricate conniving of the Court; the pulse and thought of the people of France.