Alfred of Wessex has survived the Danish invasions. He now has an uneasy truce with his enemies, but fresh Viking ships are arriving to plunder and enslave the Saxons. Those Vikings must be defeated, and Alfred's first move is to deny them their fortress on the Thames, the decayed Roman city of London. His weapon is Uhtred, a warrior of formidable reputation. But neither Alfred's wisdom, nor Uhtred's prowess might be enough to save Wessex when a Viking lord captures a prize of inestimable value.