Uhtred, a Saxon warrior raised by Danes and the right-hand man of King Alfred the Great, returns home to Northumbria to settle old scores. Settle those scores he eventually does, but not before he is betrayed by a man he trusts and sold into slavery.
Cornwell is best known for his long-running series about Richard Sharpe, an officer promoted from the ranks in the Napoleonic Wars, and for his battle scenes. Here he proves that he can write about 9th century swordsmen as well as he can write about 19th century riflemen. All of his heroes tend to resemble Sharpe: grim-faced loners with their own sense of honor, who are deadly when crossed.