Son of a Hundred Kings Author:Thomas B. Costain This is at heart a very simple story, one that begins in 1890 and is centered on Ludar Prentice. Orphaned (and his parentage very much a mystery to the reader), his wicked aunt sends him to his father in Canada without any money and a note sewn onto his back telling all and sundry where he's to be delivered to. Ludar survives the long journey vi... more »a ship and rail only to find an unhappy surprise waiting for him in Balfour because his father is dead.
The town rallies 'round and tries to sort out his history (they all believe he might be a lost duke or something), but he eventually makes his home with the gentle, kind but very poor Billy Christian. Despite all the obstacles thrown in his path, Ludar retains his gentle nature and the reader watches him as he grows into a young man, a young many very much in love with the prettiest and wealthiest girl in town, the beautiful girl he has loved since childhood Tony Milner - and while Tony returns his feelings she's still very much beyond his reach. Or is she?
Ludar discovers his secret identity from the past. "He looked up at the fence. When he was a boy it had seemed as high as the walls of Jericho or the ramparts of Front de Boeuf's castle, and it had represented to him everything which divided them. It had never occurred to him that the time would come when it could be climbed."
Publisher: Doubleday; First edition (January 1, 1950)