For two French knights, Sir Jean and Sir Maurice, a twist of faith begins with a request from the French Crown to use their acquaintance with the Avignon Popes to persuade the present Pope to pay taxes. Their success leads to a French trade mission to Italy and interface with the leaders of the city-states. Sir Maurice is instructed by Duke Chatillon, his father, to follow in his footsteps leading to the mayoral position of a French city. Sir Jean is nominated for the role of French ambassador to Italy, stationed in Rome. In his unique and intuitive fashion, he becomes embroiled with dangers and intrigues including Italian city-states vying for territory, a battle royal for control of Southern Italy led by an Avignon pope-sponsored French force, the war with England, and the pirate threat in te Mediterranean. He winds up navigating the turbulence with tact and daring initiatives with the aid of Sir Maurice, a dashing English captain turned French privateer, a legendary mercenary, a Roman cardinal, and a schooled spy.