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The ninth century story of Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia continues to unfold against the increasing threat of Danish raids. After years as a slave to the Danes, Eadwulf has returned to his Mercian homeland and settles to a life of calm domesticity, spoiled only by his constant desire for revenge. His frequent absences from his new home, connected to his past life, threaten to destroy the relationships he has fostered and alienate the family he has come to love. In Wessex, Alfred, now a young man, has spent his childhood at the successive courts of his father and four older brothers, learning the skills of diplomacy and leadership. Before too long those skills will be put to the test... The Danish invasion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms is merciless and relentless. Each year more dragonships come to join their comrades in a quest to plunder and gain control over the people. The Danes take kingdom after kingdom and Alfred and his brother Aethelred wait with baited breath for them to set their sights on Wessex. By 869, their worst fear is realised. And Eadwulf follows vital leads to the objects of his revenge.