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Blending characters historical and mythological, science fiction and fantasy grandmaster Poul Anderson has crafted a novel of magic, mystery and the might of ancient nations to rival Marian Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon.
In the tenth century, during the violent end of the Age of the Vikings, Gunhild, the daughter of a Norse Chieftan, is sent away to learn the magic of a pair of Shamans. She learns her lessons well, and uses her power to summon her hearts desire, Eirlik Blood-Ax. Gunhild's magic is a powerful compliment to Eirik's strength, but it is not enough to save him from death at the hands of his vicious rivals. Still, the sons they had will each become kings, and Gunhild's own struggles are far from over.