A young man only at peace when he is at war Young Halfdan is a slave. He is crafty with a bow and arrow and wise in the ways of the animals, but he can only dream of a warrior's life. That is, until the dark day a Saxon's blows lay his father on his deathbed, and his mother makes a tragic bargain for Halfdan's freedom. A boy's destiny can come at the most terrible price. Halfdan must suffer a grave loss in order to grasp what he most desires: to train by, to live by, and, if the fates decree it, to die by the force of his sword and the swiftness of his arrow. He is to be a warrior -- a great warrior. Bloody, furiously paced, heart-wrenching, and unflinching, this is a story of a land where the destinies of boys and men are forged in the heat of battle. Young Halfdan shall come to know the glories of true brotherhood and the unspeakable horrors of true evil. In this first book in a saga teeming with thrilling details of the Viking world, young Halfdan emerges as a new hero . . . a new myth . . . a new legend.