"It must be said we all got what we wanted--Macbeatha most of all. And in the end, we all paid the price."
Kelda expected a simple, not unpleasant life in Norse-settled Scotland, serving in her master's hall and helping her mother work the land. Instead she is wrenched from her family, her life, and her culture and gifted to the barbarian warlord Macbeatha.
Fiercely ambitious but more fiercely honorable, Macbeatha inspires both loyalty and fear in fractious and tribal Scotland. Against rival tribesmen and Viking pirates and his own cousins, he battles his way toward the top of his world. Caught up in his ambitions, Kelda finds herself his confidant and his spy as he climbs to power.
A seer promises him success and the high kingship. But the old woman's stones also speak of a Dark Warrior, a man twisted out of nature who can defeat even Macbeatha.