This is the 2nd in the Saxon Chronicle saga and continues the tradition of great writing, action, and well grounded historical fiction of the times of King Alfred. The hero Uthred, as a pagan, is at odds with the Christian social climate of Wessex under King Alfred. However, he finds himself a key leader in reviving Alfred's kingdom after the Danes have overrun it climaxing in the battle of Ethandun. Great characters are portrayed: Danes, Saxons, and Britons - the later including Alfred's chronicler Asser. Generally Uthred is not particularly enamored with many of the people he encounters which makes for great commentary.