Corban Loosestrife's life changed the day he returned to his family steading in Ireland and found it destroyed by Vikings and his father, mother, and brothers, slain. But his twin sister Mav was not among the dead, and so he knew that she had been taken as a slave. Determined to redeem her, Corban found his sister, then the property of the sorcerous Lady of Hedeby and pregnant with Eric Bloodaxe's child, begotten in rape. Corban took his revenge; he killed Eric, who was the King of Jorvik, and in doing so he became bound in the net of alliances and blood debt that marked the battles for kingship among the Vikings.
Upon the death of Eric Bloodaxe, Corban, his wife, his son, his sister, and her newborn son fled. They settled in Vinland, hunting, fishing, and raising crops. There they were happy, until one day when a ship appeared on the horizon, bringing Benna's sister and her husband, bringing a summons to Corban to return to Jorvik and intrigues of those who would be King.
Along with Corban go his son, Conn, and his sister-son, Raef; both are young men ready to prove themselves in war. Waiting for them in Denmark is Gunnhild Kingsmother, a woman of great power, and her son, Harald Ericsson, the King of Norway, who has become a Christian. Also in Hedeby there awaits the unquiet spirit of the Lady, to whom Corban swore an oath.
It is a clash of clan against clan, and army against army. The new power of the Christ strives with the ancient worship of Thor. Corban must tread a careful path between those who hate him, and those would be his ally, while concealing Raef's true parentage. For though he is bound to the woman's side, the witches' kitchen, in this power struggle, the boys are not, and they see only the glory of battle and the promise of gold. And meanwhile, in Vinland, the native tribes are eyeing Corban's fortified island, and wondering if the strangers can finally be driven away.