The is the exciting--yet little known--story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandsom defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England's four kingdoms. At the end of The Last Kingdom, The Danes had been defeated at Cynuit, but the triumph of the English is not fated to last long. The Danish Vikings quickly invade and occupy three of England's four kingdoms--and all that remains of the once proud country is a small piece of marshland, where Alfred and his family live with a few soldiers and retainers, including Uhtred, the dispossessed English nobleman who was raised by Danes. Uhtred has always been a Dane at heart, and has always believed that given the chance, he would fight for the men who raised him and taught him the Viking ways. But when Iseult, a powerful sorceress, enters Uhtred's life, he is forced to consider feelings he's never confronted before--and Uhtred discovers, in his moment of greatest peril, a newfound loyalty and love for his native country and ruler.