Reviewed by Teri Davis
“When we are young we yearn for battle. In the firelit halls, we listen to the songs of heroes. Then the day comes when we are ordered to fight with the men, not as children to hold the horses and to scavenge weapons after the battle, but as men. … We are almost men, not quite warriors, and on some fateful day we meet an enemy for the first time, and we hear the chants of battle, the threatening clash of blades on shields, and begin to learn that the poets are wrong and that the proud songs lie.”
Before the year 1000 A.D., England was a group of tribal kingdoms. Since the Romans left, there was constant fighting over land and religion with little time for peace. The invasions from the Vikings were constant. Throughout the years many of these kingdoms were merged into larger ones through marriages, battles, or treaties. Finally, there is some peace due to a treaty between Sigtryggr, Northumbria’s Viking ruler and AEthelflaed, Mercia’s Saxon queen.