The day before his knighting, Will has joined the hunt. Chasing a white deer until it vanishes results in losing himself in the forest. As he hunts for his way back, he finds two outlaws harassing an old woman for her pig, and in the resultant fight, he kills them.
She can direct him back, and he makes it in time for his vigil. Which their wizard visits to alert him to his wyrd: he will face death before the year is out, and his younger brother will inherit the estate. On top of his reaction, he is reminded the next day that he should visit the Baron and meet Isobel, since their marriage was arranged when they were three, and his reaction is to wonder whether it's fair to leave her a childless young widow. He puts off the matter with a suggestion that he will do the round of tournaments, as befits a new knight, and stop on the way.
He sets out with friends. Even before the first tourney, they have to deal with a troll, and Will does very well at the tourney, even winning the prize, except that a freak accident kills the first knight he defeated. (Both, of course, overshadowed by the thoughts that this might be the time.)
The rest of the tale involves meeting Isobel, a hunt that's led by Death himself, an accusation of treachery, Will's falling asleep in the woods and waking up without his sword only to learn later what happened to it, hearing news for the king, a woman staked out for bait, and three questions for which only two of the answers are true. And discovering exactly what his wyrd means.