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By Poul Anderson

A story of battles, betrayals, revenge, magic, and monsters: the traditional legend of the fabled sixth-century Danish king, retold by way of an acclaimed grasp of technology fiction and fantasy

In the courtroom of the Anglo-Saxon king, a vacationing storyteller regales the assembled nobles with the spell binding story of her far flung land's such a lot respected hero: the Viking Hrolf Kraki. Born of an incestuous union right into a royal family members with a historical past of violence, jealousy, usurpation, and homicide, Hrolf assembled a faithful band of the mightiest champions within the realm and increased his small country via knowledge, braveness, and conquest. Unbeaten at the battlefield, his nice deeds and victories turned legends in the course of the North as he ushered in an period of peace and prosperity. yet Hrolf's hope for vengeance used to be ever the warrior-king's driver, as he sought the reality approximately his father's homicide. This obsession could threaten Hrolf's lifestyles and his rule—and finally carry his nice state to ruin.

Poul Anderson, one of many stated giants of twentieth-century fable and technology fiction, employs his extraordinary storytelling skills to carry Denmark's so much exciting historic legend to lifestyles. A story that predates the tales of King Arthur and his knights and Shakespeare's Hamlet, whereas echoing the Oedipus and Beowulf myths, the saga of Hrolf Kraki, the best of all Danish Viking kings, takes on a brand new and breathtaking richness during this vintage novel that used to be venerated with a British myth Award in 1974.

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He pointed lower than the foredeck. She crept into the tarry-thick darkness underneath and lay down on a bed, fists clenched at facets. He sought her. At sunrise he fetched his chests, then stood out around the Belt. On lonely Ærö the Danes made a more secure camp. For every week they hunted, fished, wrestled, swam, gambled, yarned, or idled. The king joined them, shop while he took the queen. She gave him no hassle; she in simple terms suffered him. She by no means wept; nor did she converse greater than she slightly needs to. “You are a good lady, Olof,” he whispered one evening into her hair. “I want our bizarre have been another way. ” She lay stiff. He sighed. “I imagine you can't take care of males. And now it’s too overdue among us . ” “We is probably not performed but, you and I,” she stated. “What? ” he requested. She could communicate no additional. A curlew shrilled via emerging sit back mist. Helgi shivered and drew with regards to her, in simple terms for heat. She didn't circulate to satisfy him. subsequent day he crossed the Belt back and set her off close to her inn. Neither stated farewell. She waded ashore within the dirty tatters of her dress. His males shoved the send transparent, hauled themselves again aboard, and took oars. Olof didn't watch them spider-walk from her. She used to be already trudging domestic. IV that very same summer season, to King Hroar in Leidhra got here his partner's father Ægthjof the Göta jarl. Feuds had damaged out. Ægthjof slew Heidhleif of the Ulfing relatives, however the kinsmen proved too powerful and he needs to flee. younger although he was once, Hroar didn't order the war-arrow handed from steading to steading. “What boots it to elevate a number, kill and burn and sack, making nonetheless extra death-foes for ourselves? ” he requested. “Oh, the Ynglings in Uppsala would prefer that! What was once left of Götaland may stand company on their aspect. ” He despatched be aware to Jarl Sævil in Scania, who in flip sought the heads of the Ulfings. As go-between, Sævil prepared peace. Ægthjof needs to pay a excessive weregild, yet Hroar helped him. a couple of marriages have been made in addition, to bind the homes jointly for a minimum of it slow. “You have served me such a lot wonderfully,” stated Ægthjof, wringing Hroar’s hand ahead of leaving for domestic. “I wish I or baby of mine could sometime do the like for you. ” “That’s a kindly thought,” smiled the king. “However, for me to wish support, first i have to be in difficulty. ” “Thence comes fame,” acknowledged Ægthjof. “May now not a reputation greater and longer-lived come from development the land? We’ve paintings for plenty of lifetimes—nailing down peace inside of and with out this nation, clearing fields, elevating homes, launching ships for fishery and alternate, making stable legislation and considering the fact that they’re stored, bringing in outland arts…. good, kinsman, i want no longer speak as though I stood at the Thingstone! ” Helgi back within the better of humor and was once thereafter his previous self. initially he misplaced no likelihood to make identified how he had avenged himself upon Queen Olof. In time he stopped talking or maybe wondering it. no longer so the girl. She knew people may wager what had befallen her, and observe floating to Saxland from Denmark could quickly finish any doubts. this could no longer unseat her if she confirmed power.

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