In a panoramic novel against a backdrop of violence and political turbulence in the eleventh century, Ivar, a Danish orphan is enslaved to the most successful and experienced soldier of the age. He eventually becomes one of the elite bodyguard of the Emperor of Turkey. Meanwhile his distant relative, Torkil, the grandson of an Anglo Norse thayne, advances his military career in the service of Harold Godwinson. History dictates that one day the two warriors, caught up in the maelstrom of treachery, carnage, greed, lust and loyalty, will meet. When they do, there are devastating results for one of them, his king and his country. The crown of England was the most contested in all Europe; on the death of Edward the Confessor, Harold Godwinsson took possession of it. In 1066 two other claimants to the throne, a Norwegian and a Norman tried to wrest it from him. This is the story of Ivar, Torkil and the three kings they served.