Set in the late ninth century, when what is known as England today was several separate kingdoms. The Anglo-Saxon lands are attacked and, in many instances, ruled by Danes. The Kingdom of Wessex has been left standing alone. The main protagonist Uhtred, the orphaned son of a Saxon nobleman, is kidnapped by Norsemen and reared as one of them. Forced to choose between a kingdom that shares his ancestry and the people of his upbringing, his loyalties are constantly tested.