Chapter 7 Summary

King Richard is in foreign captivity. In the absence of the king, Prince John is consolidating power and attracting to his court the more decadent and vicious of English nobility. The forests are full of outlaws, the economy is in shambles, disease is rampant. A tournament of skilled knights, therefore, provides English people of all classes some much needed entertainment.

The Passage of Arms, held at Ashby in Leicester, is a first-class tournament drawing a massive crowd that includes Prince John himself. The top-ranked contenders are Cedric's kinsman Athelstane and his Norman neighbors Reginald Front-de-Beouf and Philipe de Malvoisin, as well as Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert.

In the place of highest honor is...

(The entire section is 558 words.)