“I suppose I should apologize again. Or would one omnibus grovel cover all past and future failings?” Part 3, Ch. 4, Section 1.
This book is about Francis Crawford of Lymond, fictional second son of a powerful Scottish family during a particularly precarious time in its history with England. He’s intelligent, brutal, and can drink any man who dares try under the table. He’s an excellent archer, a mostly-brilliant tactician, and has a way of making men follow him, even while he rants eloquently about how little he cares about anyone. He stands accused of a terrible crime, and if anyone can get him to sit still, they’d try him and promptly hang him. Recently returned from exile to cause trouble, mostly, and maybe clear his name, “the Master” runs around Scotland harrying nobles, accidentally seducing noblewomen, and generally making everyone on both sides of the border completely mad with the desire to kill him.