Ximene Trecavel and John Stanley establish a long term relationship, but far from a conventional one.
They decide that they must be invisibly and indivisibly entwined. They plan to help each other climb the ladder of power and influence until they each have the ear of Kings.
They believe that by keeping their relationship secret their opportunities to influence each other’s progress will be enhanced.
To achieve anything they must have resources and the major sub plot is the discovery and recovery of Ximene’s family treasure.
A second subplot is Ximene’s rescue of John, critically injured on the battlefield at Monsegur. She nurses him back to health and encourages him to train his way back to full strength.
She encourages him by taking part in every aspect of the recovery program including the use of weapons and unarmed combat. In the course of doing this, she becomes herself a formidable female warrior.
A third sub plot is the Prince’s invasion of Armagnac and Occitan and Gaston’s re-emergence as a political opportunist.
A further sub plot has du Guesclin finally managing to capture Ximene. John has to rescue her from being burnt at the stake in Carcassonne.