From Bernard Cornwell, the New York Times bestsellings author whom the Washington Post calls 'perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today,' comes a saga of blood, rage, fidelity, and betrayal. In the ninth and tenth centuries, King Alfred and his heirs fought to secure the survival of the last outpost of Anglo-Saxon culture by battling the ferocious Vikings, whose invading warriors had already captured and occupied three of England's four kingdoms.
In A.D. 866, Uhtred, a boy of ten and the son of a nobleman, is captured in the same batle that leaves his father dead. His captor is the Earl Ragner, a Danish chieftain, who raises the boy as his own, teaching him theViking ways of war. As a young man expected to partake in raids and bloody massacres of the English, he grapples with divided loyaties, torn between Ragnar, the warrior he loves like a father, and Alfred, whose piety and introspection leave him cold. It takes a terrible slaughter and the unexpected joys of marriage for Uhtred to discover his true allegiance-and to rise to his greatest challenge.