It is 1642, and Laurence Beaumont has just returned to England
after six long years fighting - and avoiding fighting - in the
European Wars. Having fled his homeland to escape the
responsibilities of his noble birthright, he has been a lowly
infantryman, a spy, and a cardsharp in a Dutch brothel. He has seen
the worst inhumanities visited on men, women and children by enemy
and neighbour alike, and he no longer has faith in God, in causes,
or much in humankind itself.