This exciting adventure for middle-graders is set in Provence in the year 1000AD. The protagonist, Désirée, is the daughter of the powerful feudal lord of the county but was raised with freedoms not normally accorded to young girls. She can write, count, is not afraid to speak her mind and is secretly learning how to ride a horse and fight with the sword. Her life in the castle means she is not free to choose her own destiny so, when her father departs on an important mission, she must deal with a surge in religious intolerance against Muslims, peasant revolts against taxes imposed by a disloyal governor, and a mysterious preacher enlisting children to fight in the Holy War. She also encounters the handsome Philippe, commissioned to paint her portrait for her husband-to-be. The shadows of the recent past are a difficult burden to bear, as is the threat of trouble in the future, but Désirée proves she is pure of heart and has the right qualities to become a true warrior princess.