Marguerite, eldest daughter of the Count of Provence, married a king of France - and now her sister Eleanor is determined to make just as grand a match. Good fortune and wily cunning bring her Henry of England. He is a good and generous husband, but a weak king. He rules a nation that still remembers his cruel and foolish father, King John. As Henry showers gifts on his new bride, his extravagance forces him to levy ever-greater taxation on the land, and the spectre of a revolt soon looms against him. For Simon de Montfort, the adventurer who will give England its first true parliament, the hour of destiny is at hand . . .