I just loved William Marshall - alias Guzzleguts! starting from the lowest echelon of squire, sleeping in corners, jeered by many, he grows up to be a real knight in shining armour - honourable, loyal to the last, once his loyalty is pledged there is no going back, he meets up with Isabelle - falls in love - head over heels literally and then lives a very interesting life. Expanding his riches and properties, expanding his family.
The story in this second novel deals how William deals with the every increasing animosity of his King - the one to whom he has pledged his allegiance. John wants to see William broken, first through the obvious means of losing out his property and thereby depriving him of his hard earned and won livelihood, and insidiously and very wickedly through the corruption of William's two boys whom he has taken as hostage for the good behavior of William. King John tries very hard to subvert Will and Richard and though he seems to have initially succeeded with Will he never does so with Richard and even with Will his efforts are finally in vain.
The story of Isabelle and William Marshall in their more mature years - how both of them lived, apart for great periods of time, each remaining steadfast to the other, each offering the other unencumbered moral support and encouragement at all times is the crux of this story. The saga of the Marshall family, the manner in which all the children grow and support each other and their parents form a beautiful story. Despite Isabelle's not understanding of William's unswerving loyalty to the King in the face of untold hardships she is not a woman who will still honour him as her husband above all else.
Like the previous book detailed domestic details of running such huge estates, castles and managing servants and small armies was fascinating reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this second book by this author.