Disgusted by the corruption in an English monastery,where he has been flogged for a minor misdemeanor,Alexander de Montroi flees to his older brother in Normandy, where he learns to excel in tourneys.
Monday, whose mother ran away from her father, Lord of Stafford, to marry a mere knight who earns his living in tourneys, dreams of being a lady gowned in silk instead of a sempstress.
Alexander and Monday's friendship is corrupted when, inebriated, they make love. Monday runs away to bear her child. A quirk of fate leads to her becoming the future King John of England's mistress.
Another quirk of fate brings Alexander and Monday together but they must fight for their happiness.
The Champion is peopled with imaginary and historical characters each of whom springs to life on the pages. I particularly liked Monday and Alexander's small son, Florian.
12th century life is expertly described with many interesting details including birth control.
I shall keep The Champion with other novels to be read again.
New Release. False Pretences. October