After a peaceful year running their Frisian estate, the main characters, Harald and Selia are called to England by Harald’s father King Cnute. Their return home is met with violence and intrigue.
Cnute, the king had vowed to Queen Emma that their son, Harthacnute, would inherit the throne, but Cnute also recognizes that the man is cruel and reckless. Many view Harald as the better choice, which makes him a target for the unseen supporters of his half-brother. Regardless King Cnute is not a fool and urges Harald to be prepared to assume the throne should Harthacnute prove inadequate. Harald resists being swept up by forces beyond his control, but doubts he will survive the reign of King Hartha. Unfortunately, there is another brother to contend with. Sweyn, and he could be an even bigger threat to Harald.
*** While I appreciated the author’s research with names and terms that were used during the period of history and his preface of explaining what they were and meant was helpful, I had some difficulty getting into the story why I tried to understand what was going on. It didn’t take that long and I did find myself totally swept up in the history and the events including scheming, murder, bribery and betrayal as the fight for power was going on. This was definitely an all for themselves kind of life as well as a very brutal time to live and die which the author brought to glorious life.
Without giving too much away, I truly was into the many facet of the characters, their strengths and weaknesses and really enjoyed reading this chronicle. Would definitely recommend all history buffs to read and enjoy!