England in the tenth century is close to peace, but the king is still in need of warriors. At the age of seven, his mother dead, Byrhtnoth is sent to train with other boys, but suffers as he has no father's name. He is shown a sword, his father's sword, and he is told that it will be his when he proves himself a man. When the girl he loves is captured by the Vikings he is sent to rescue her. A king tragically dies and Byrhtnoth blames himself. Can he overcome his fears and discover the truth about his father? Will he live long enough to become a man and claim the sword?
Christine Hancock lives in Rugby, Warwickshire and is a long term family historian and leader of her local history group. Byrhtnoth is based on a real warrior who died in the 991 Battle of Maldon, made famous by the Anglo-Saxon poem of that name. Christine was born in Essex and visited Maldon often, and attended the 1000 year anniversary of the battle in 1991. Christine wanted to find out what made Byrhtnoth such a famous warrior, making him an ideal topic for this novel and series.