A penniless young knight, William Marshal is plucked from obscurity when he saves the life of Henry II's formidable queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. In gratitude, she appoints him tutor in arms to her son. However, being a royal favourite brings its share of conflict and envy.Besmirched by his enemies, banished from court, William seeks redemption in pilgrimages across Europe and the Holy Land, returning to find bygones forgotten and his prowess on the battlefield in demand. The only knight ever to unhorse the legendary Richard Coeur de Lion, William is offered the hand in marriage of Isabelle de Clare, 18-year-old ward of the King. Strangers to each other on their wedding day, the pair must immediately confront deadly political intrigue, strained family loyalties and betrayals. As King Richard prepares to depart on crusade, other men, including the King's own brother John, are waiting their moment to seize power - it is William's duty to stand in their path.