Finally the tenth century serves as the era of change for the land because even the last of the old generation are now dying and thus the new generation is taking over. Change in the mood and war plans can be observed on both sides. The one good thing about the Vikings is that they just keep on coming though losing to England many times the still have a hope to outdo the king. First they were coming from the north in Death of Kings and The Pagan Lord and now they are approaching from Ireland which means that they have one primary goal now i.e to destroy the kingdom forever.
Getting the crown has been the dream of every Viking right from the beginning but the warriors of the king have never allowed them to fulfill their dreams.
The issue of Mercia’s leadership is under discussion when this eighth book starts and the true heir to the crown once again has Uhtred’s support because Athelflaed has always been a special person for him. The queen is sister of Queen Edward and was once the sole reason because of which Uhtred supported King Alfred. Now she is on the throne ruling the land but people of the land have never expected to be ruler by a woman.
Most of the people think that it is against the dignity of men in the land to obey a woman. Thus the battle for the champion is on who could get the throne and the powers of a king in this eighth book by Bernard Cornwell narrated by Matt Bates in a better way because this is the first time the series has continued with the same narrator for two parts.