It was a changed world. No longer did the black monks of the Christian Church own half of England and extend their deadly domain over their flock. No longer did the murderous Ragnarssons and their Viking hordes ravage the shires unopposed. Now, in the year 867 AD, those who wished to be Christian were free to worship without the heavy yoke of the ever-hungry Church. Those who did not could follow the Asgarth Way, the Norse religion that paid homage to the gods of Asgard: Othin, Thor, Frey...and Rig. Rig, the patron - perhaps the father? - of Shef Sigvarthsson. Whose new weapons and battle strategy had defeated both the battle-hardened Vikings and the Frankish knights of Pope Nicholas' failed Crusade.
While enemies plotted, Shef left England by ship, to avoid the wedding of his ally, Alfred of Wessex, to his childhood love, Godive. Shipwrecked on the Frisian Coast he begins a journey that will keep him away from England for months and years, and add more legends to his already myth-shrouded life.
In One King's Way Harry Harrison Continues the story of Shef Sigvarthsson, god-chosen warrior and mystic. From the Vikings of the North Sea to the scheming priests of Germany, from the frozen northern lands to the snow-covered Finnish tundra, he fights his way towards overwhelming kingship. While his supernatural allies and enemies engage in a shadowy battle for his future. This is historical fantasy of the highest order, from a giant of the genre.
Cleverly combining mystical visions of Norse and Christian mythologies with an alternative history of the ninth century, Harrison's (The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues) latest is an entertaining follow-up to The Hammer and the Cross. Though returning hero Shef Sigvarthsson has been made co-king of the English, at every opportunity he shucks the trappings of power and returns to his much-preferred role as blacksmith and inventor. Fleeing a disastrous attraction to his foster sister, Godive, he heads north into Viking territory, where the Way-College, run by priests dedicated to technological innovation and the god Rig, is located. Meanwhile, the Christians, led by the scholarly priest Erkenbert and the warrior Bruno, are also heading north, in search of the lance that pierced Christ's side on the cross--a relic they believe will help them build an invincible Christian Empire. In the first book, Shef angered the Ragnarsson brothers, favorites of the god Othin; now they seek to send him to Hel, where he will be their slave for eternity. The story is richly laden with detailed accounts of period naval warfare and changes in technology and culture, but one of its most satisfying pleasures is the intertwining of pagan mythologies and Christian dreams.