John no longer doubts his own physical abilities. At 20 he is now tournament champion of Europe and an expert on milatary tactics is close confidant of The Black Prince. He is a Knight of England and Occitan and is always announced as such at court even though many people doubt with Occitan really exists. However his emotion development has stalled since his separation from Ximene. Despite promptings from both the Prince and Joan of Kent he has had never found it possible to feel affection for another woman. Now Ximene had sought him out and they have spetcacularly re-consummated their love in Venice. However almost immediately she has dispatched him to Karaman to reorganise the defences of that tiny state. Soon he must move to Granada to repeat the project with no guarantee of when he will see Ximene again. Feelings of being used and emotional vulnerability reemerge. However in the east he is exposed to a new range of experiences and meets a woman who may well change his life. Perhaps now he will be able to deal with Ximene as an equal!