Young Prince Olaf and old Eystein Orre discuss the nature of the changing world. Neither they nor King Hardrada, who is on his way to Stamford Bridge, have any understanding of how drastically their world is about to change in the very near future.
And now it begins. Coenred has convinced King Harold that York can be recaptured from the Vikings without either endangering the population or alerting King Hardrada of the danger that he now stands in.
Wulfhere is coming to believe that his luck has all turned to bad. His last encounter with Mildryth did not go the way he felt he had a right to expect. In consideration of how she has come to blight his life it might not be surprising that the outlaw now convinces himself that she is a witch and that they only way he can free himself from her mark is to kill her.
Coenred is called for an audience with King Harold of England. This will be the start of a relationship between the two men that promises much.
A short piece this one. Thorald the Norwegian is considering his lot as he walks the city of York as part of King Hardrada's garrison. He does not yet know that on the morning a very fateful days is going to break.
Coenred has discovered that the lone horseman who approached his camp at Tadcaster is in fact Eorl Gyrth, the brother of Harold Godwinson, King of England. Eorl Gyrth is the only representative of his house, however, King Harold rides at the head of one of the largest Saxon armies ever to take to the field.
As the clouds of war gather once more Mildryth continues her wary friendship with Thorald, a Norwegian, and makes a surprising discovery concerning Saxons and Vikings.
It might seem as if events have been moving slowly since the book opened with a violent encounter between the Saxons and Vikings, but they have been moving.
Romance in a time of war is hardly unknown. A growing affection between two young people seems even more questionable, but human nature is not so easily constrained. Alfrid, one of Coenred's young huscarls, has met Eawyn, the daughter of the Theign of Tadcaster.
Continuing on with the idea that people often buried their treasure during times of unrest, Branda visits Mildryth with a plea to accompany her on a short journey outside of the city walls. She has need to withdraw a little money from a deposit hidden by her now dead husband.