1469 A.D. – Brogan d’Aurilliac is a master sergeant in the infantry of Edward IV. The son of a Germanic knight, he came to England at his father’s death and worked his way up through the ranks of the infantry to become the king’s highest ranking soldier. Brogan is a very large man with power and skill, but uneducated due to his family’s immigrant social standing. He meets our heroine by chance, a member of the mighty de Nevilles, the most powerful ruling family in England. The Lady Avalyn du Brant’s uncle is the all-powerful Richard Neville, “The Kingmaker”. Although Brogan knows she is out of his league, he is nonetheless taken by her. Avalyn, too, is intrigued by the big soldier with the heavy accent and menacing presence. What starts out as pity for the man turns to something else and her uncle, used to meddling in people’s lives, seeks to separate his niece from Brogan by betrothing her to a powerful but foolish baron. Yet Avalyn is intelligent; she takes charge of the situation and, like a great chess match, seeks to beat her uncle at his own game. Brogan, the man that enemy and ally alike call “The Monster” in battle, offers support and affection such as Avalyn has never known in this story of reversal of roles. She is the ‘smart and cunning’ one in this battle to save her relationship with Brogan from her uncle’s destruction.