Norway AD785. A land of petty kingdoms and ambitious men...When King Gorm betrays Jarl Harald and puts his family to the sword, he makes a terrible mistake - he doesn't kill Harald's youngest son, Sigurd. Now on the run, hunted by powerful men and hiding in a sacred fen, Sigurd believes the gods have turned their backs on his family: his kin are slain or prisoners, his village attacked, its people taken as slaves. Honour is lost. Yet all men know that Odin - whose name means frenzy - is drawn to chaos and bloodshed, as a raven is to the slaughtered dead. And Sigurd means to spill blood. Alone but for a small band of loyal men including his red-bearded friend Svein, his father's right-hand man Olaf, and Asgot the godi, Sigurd hungers to avenge the murder of his family. In an attempt to catch Odin's eye, the young man sacrifices himself - as the god once did - and it is during this ritual ordeal that Sigurd is shown a vision. The Wolf. The Bear. The Serpent. The Eagle. Sigurd will need the help of all these and more if he is to become a man whom others will follow ...and if he is to make kings pay in blood for their treachery. But the gods have spoken and Sigurd's quest begins. Using cunning and war-craft he must gather the fiercest warriors of the north - warriors such as Bram who men call Bear, Black Floki who is death with a blade, and the shield Maiden Valgerd, who brave men fear - and convince them to follow him. For whether or not Odin is with him, Sigurd will have his vengeance - and neither men nor the gods can stand in his way...Be assured that when the blood is flowing, the gods are watching...