It is the 22nd century on a parallel Earth. In the country of Vigrlandt the dominant culture is Viking/Anglo Saxon. Rorn is a criminal low-life brought up by his grandfather, the powerful head of an organised crime gang. The Gifts follows Rorn’s coming of age and the realisation that his grandfather’s life plan for him involves much more than being the gangland assassin he has become.
Rorn learns that the Earth is under threat of attack by an enemy that regards humans as invaders of their planet. He discovers that the threatened attack is part of an ancient war and that through the ages a race of off-worlders and a legendary warrior known as the Blade has repeatedly helped humans subjugate their old enemy. But now, in an attempt to finally win the war the enemy has formed an alliance with beings from another universe and their plans are about to unfold.
Initially Rorn, like most of his contemporaries, is cynical about the half remembered legends of ancient wars and heroic warriors, but he is forced to re-assess his views especially when he learns that an old mentor and friend is inextricably linked to the Blade legend. He also discovers that his personal fate is critical to the survival of humans on Earth.