At the dawn of the tenth century Britain stands as a divided realm. the Danes rule the north, the Saxons, led by King Edward of Wessex, hold the south. But the uneasy peace cannot hold.Uhtred, the late King Alfred's celebrated warrior, must journey across Britain to recapture his ancestral home and the greatest fortress of the north, Bebbanburg. But the Viking lord Cnut Longsword is raising an army and, as his battle-leaders unite, loyalties will be divided and men will fall, as every Saxon kingdom is drawn into a bloody clash with the Danes. And it is Uhtred, lord of the outcasts, who will decide the fate of the nation.