I love Sharon Penman. She writes fantastic, well-researched, human history. This is just such a book. It tells the story of Simon de Montfort, and how he shaped the history of England. He was a strong, passionate man, who had total belief in his God, and his destiny, which was to change the way that England was ruled. It also tells the story of Llewelyn ap Gruffyd, the Welsh Prince, and his struggles to make Wales one kingdom. This book is exciting, never boring, happy, ultimately heart-crushingly sad, and most of all, thought-provoking. Simon was married to Nell, sister of Henry, King of England, who was a weak man, unfit for the role of King. They had a brood of sons, all of whom played their part in their fathers' fate. It is a tale of treachery, betrayal, love, passion, politics, and the ability of one man to rouse such emotions in the hearts of many, that they would follow him, to certain death, and defy their King for his sake. Simon's fate is appallingly cruel, making you realise just how callous medieval times were. I cried my eyes out at the end of this book, and can't help but draw comparisons between Simon de Montfort and Richard III. Their destinies were so very similar, and so very cruelly ended. I have read all of Sharon Penmans' books, and love them all. This is a fantastic book. Forget the stuff we learnt at school, these books should be part of a history lesson, and then more of us would be fascinated by history. It has everything you could wish for, and I found it impossible to put down until the very end. Read it, but keep the tissues handy.