The boy is abandoned at the castle gate when he’s six, Prince Chivalry’s bastard. Over ten years, he grows up on the sidelines, where he is ignored by most save the stable master. The king eventually finds a use for him, apprenticing the boy to his assassin.
There are few swords swung in this book. It’s a character study of an outcast boy and his often strained relationships with others. It details his developing awareness of court intrigue and national politics, and the difficult choices that confront him.