This story is based on the life of a forgotten hero, William Marshal, the knight selected by Eleanor of Acquitaine to train her sons in horsemanship and chivalry. While Eleanor's sons might not have turned out that great, it wasn't any fault of William Marshal's. He was amazing! Most of the story is based on fact with some of the gray areas filled in by the author. There was not much information on his Crusade to Jerusalem, except for the fact that he carried Henry the Young King's cloak to pay hommage and make amends after the robbing of a monastery to provide money for Henry's battle with his father. His marriage to Isabelle de Clare and their subsequent involvement in King Richard's battle with his brother John is all well-documented. Throughout the story, William's integrity, loyalty and stolid support for the Plantagenet family keeps him busy going from one battle to the next. When he decides to marry and start a family, his life is still dictated by the whim of the court and who will get him to support them in their quest for the title of King of England.
There is a second book about William Marshal called "The Scarlet Lion" which follows William and Isabelle after they leave England for Ireland. I will be reading that too, and probably looking for more from Elizabeth Chadwick.