Marguerite, eldest daughter of the Count of Provence, had 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. 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 revolt soon looms against him. For Simon de Montfort, the adventurer who will give England its first true parliament, the house of destiny is at hand.