Chadwick builds on an argument over a chess game between Prince John and Fulke FitzWarin, a story that some scholars suggest probably holds some truth. After John becomes king and underhandedly strips him of his family's lands, Fulke with judgement clouded by black distrust and blinded by raging tempers, turns renegade to wreak havoc along the Welsh borders ( ergo inspiring the dearly loved Robin Hood legend ).
You're a king's son by birth, but just now I would accord a gutter sweeping more respect than you!
Chadwick created an exciting historical setting with interesting characters - heroes and foils, both lovable and despicable. I have been reading Chadwick's stories for a long time, and always marvel at how expertly she handles the details and choreography of her battle scenes.
I was completely immersed in the novel from the start: a blend of historical facts ( the Magna Carta is introduced ) and fiction ( a little something to make you weep), yet the tale as a whole was so believable, I often felt the dialogue was real. I shan't betray much more, except to say that I quickly blew through this novel with eagerness..I think you would, too.
In her author's note, Elizabeth Chadwick cites J. Meisel's Barons of the Welsh Frontier, and Two Medieval Outlaws by Glyn Burgess ( among others ) for those who wish to separate truth from myth regarding King John and FitzWarin. Readers of Chadwick's novels can always depend on her to relay historical events accurately. Recommend highly for all medieval historical fictionistas.