The king Alfred has ruled over 30 years to build his Christian empire in Wessex. However, he is about to die and the Danes and some traitors from Saxon are waiting to get on the throne. Uthred, the king’s favorite and competent warrior, has to intervene one more time for his old dying lord though he is anxious to repossess his embezzled Northumbrian inheritance.
But still Uthred batches up with Edward, king’s son. On the other side, Edward's cousin, Aethelwold, is consistently trying for laying out behind-the-scene conspiracy to do away with Uthred so as to take the throne on his head. Not only this, church authorities are concerned over the acceptance of Christianity if the Danes succeed in taking over the Wessex kingdom. Since churches are always against Uthred because of the king Alfred’s tight attitude towards them.
Uthred trusts no one but his lover Aethelflaed, who at the main time of battle delays the Danes in crossing the river at night. Otherwise, if the Danes had crossed the river they could have beaten Edward’s troops. Due to this move they not only save Wessex but also gain victory over Lundene.
Bernard Cornwell’s research on historical topics is a well-carried out task. There are many gaps in the history even if the real characters are taken into the main plot, but Bernard makes everything smooth by using his imagination and creating fictional characters like Uthred. Therefore, all his books are substantial in appeal and power packed with the real-looking characters and the ineradicable climaxes.