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By Tim Severin

Sigwulf, a minor Saxon prince, is stored from execution after his kinfolk is slaughtered by means of the ruthless King Offa of Mercia. due to his Devil's Mark - his eyes of alternative colours - Sigwulf is exiled to the Frankish courtroom of King Carolus, the long run Charlemagne. There Sigwulf survives on his wits whereas while attempting to come to phrases with disturbingly prophetic dreams.

He earnings the friendship of count number Hroudland, Carolus's robust and impressive nephew - yet, mysteriously, numerous makes an attempt are made on Sigwulf's existence. while he obtains a publication of desires, an extraordinary textual content that explains their which means, he draws the eye of Carolus himself. yet th e-book proves to be a slippery consultant in a global of double dealing. despatched into Spain to secret agent at the Saracens, Sigwulf turns into stuck among loyalties; both he honors his debt to new Saracen pals, or he serves count number Hroudland in his quest for glory, gold or even the Grail itself.

One after one other Sigwulf's predictions come real, yet frequently now not as anticipated, and he reveals himself swept ahead right into a ultimate nice conflict that finds who his enemies are...

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I observed Hroudland’s mouth set in a grim line as he nodded, acknowledging his uncle’s directions. there has been whatever chilling in his response. My presence was once now not wanted and that i stepped again from the map desk. Already i used to be attempting to consider how i'll keep away from using opposed to Pamplona with the count number. I had no quarrel with the folks within the urban. that they had taken care of me really whilst I gone through on my method to Brittany. After what had simply occurred in Zaragoza, I feared that if i used to be back swept up in Hroudland’s plans i might basically upload to my feel of guilt. * Hroudland raised no objection while I instructed him that I most well-liked to stay with the most military as a consultant. He rode off for his raid on Pamplona taking Berenger, Gerin and picked soldiers with him. i didn't see him back for 2 weeks. by way of then i used to be excessive within the mountains and our major devices had already crossed the move and all started to descend the opposite facet. in the back of them straggled a disjointed, weary line of foot squaddies, shipping drivers and camp fans. Saracen fastened archers have been harassing our rear. whether or not they have been the Falcon’s males or infantrymen from Zaragoza, it was once very unlikely to inform. they might look firstly mild and skulk round, sending arrows at lengthy variety. Eggihard geared up sorties to experience out to force them off. however the Saracens may easily soften away and go back the subsequent morning. at the afternoon Hroudland bought again, i used to be camped beside a shepherd’s hut with regards to the cross the place the line ran among excessive cliffs in a slim defile. It used to be an identical hut the place Wali Husayn and that i had mentioned the slinger who had attacked me within the mountains. I had long gone there with Eggihard to enquire an coincidence with the luggage teach. An ox cart had smashed a wheel at a slender portion of the music and used to be blocking off the roadway. thankfully the broken cart used to be one of many final transports within the column, and there have been in simple terms 3 extra carts at the back of it. Alarmingly we came upon that the stranded autos carried the ransom funds from Zaragoza although they need to were within the well-protected centre of the column. the gang of 4 carts used to be turning into more and more remoted, and Eggihard determined that we should always stick with them till the wheel was once repaired, and the order of march may be rearranged. So we greeted Hroudland’s arrival with reduction. He got here clattering up the rock-strewn path on the head of his troops and instantly agreed to detach fifty males to face protect over the stranded autos. the remaining could journey on and rejoin the most strength. Their horses have been lathered and exhausted and their riders appeared reluctant to speak about the raid on Pamplona. Hroudland’s unkempt visual appeal used to be stunning. His eyes have been uncooked and red-rimmed, staring from a face the place each line used to be engrained with soot. His yellow hair, regularly fresh and lustrous, used to be streaked with ash. while he handed a hand throughout his face to rub away the dust, I observed that the nails have been jagged and dirty. In his sweat-stained and crumpled outfits he regarded not anything just like the good-looking nobleman who had ridden out so jauntily to win his wardenship of the Spanish March.

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