A nation is fractured, torn apart by ore internal fighting than the threat of Viking invasion. The ruler of Mercia is dying, leaving no legitimate heir. His wife is a formidable fighter and great leader but no woman has ever ruled over an English kingdom. And she is without her strongest warrior and champion, Uhtred. The scene is set for an explosive battle between elders and warriors for an empty throne. While the kingdoms are in disarray the Vikings, this time coming from the West, will go on the rampage.  A hero is needed, one that can destroy the threat to Mercia and who will ultimately decide the fate of a nation.