Eleventh century France is a patchwork of independent domains. In the north, William the Duke of Normandy rivals the King of France. In the south, the Count of Toulouse continues the Pons’ family tradition in governing the region. Amid the powers is the Duchy of Aquitaine, where Lord Pons rules his barony in County Saintonge. The era is the height of Norman expansion. These former pagan Vikings, now Christian and French-speaking and having carved out kingdoms in southern Italy and Sicily, turn their conquering spirit toward England. Duke William is planning to invade and seize his claim to the crown. He obtains the Pope’s blessing and calls for knights from across Europe to join his crusade. Past his prime, Lord Pons bestows the leadership of his barony to the eldest of his five sons. His four younger sons must find their own fortune elsewhere and they join Duke William’s invasion to fight in the Battle of Hastings. The brothers’ surname, FitzPons, is a patronym. They are the Sons of Pons.