When spies infiltrate the Cumbraland army, Uhtred must rely on his troops to protect him from a perilous attack. Spurred on by the recent rogue ambush, Guthred makes a decision to march on Eoferwic. However, Abbot Eadred’s disapproval of Uhtred grows to dangerous heights and his influence over the Dane King threatens the alliance between Guthred and Uhtred. Finding himself face to face with ruthless brothers Erik and Sigefrid, will Guthred’s efforts to emulate Alfred’s conciliatory tactics backfire? Meanwhile, Hild goes on a journey of self-discovery as she considers exchanging her life as a nun for that of a warrior. Seeking to prove herself to Uhtred’s men, she sets about a gruesome task. Elsewhere, Kjartan’s thirst for revenge grows stronger, as Uhtred rides as the dead horseman once again. When affection between Uhtred and Gisela reaches new heights, Uhtred’s enemies close in and he suffers a grave betrayal.