A 17-year-old Viking learns the horrible nature of warfare during his first raid The warriors of Lidsmod's village live for war. When the waters thaw, they set their ships upon the waves, ranging up and down the coasts of Scandinavia in search of loot and throats to cut. In this culture built on violence, songs are sung of bloody battles and fallen warriors are rewarded with a lifetime in Valhalla. Today, Lidsmod will join the fray. In the newly built Raven, he will sail across the seas in search of a palace of gold rumored to sit near the English coast. He yearns for glory, but he will find something far more surprising. The golden palace is an abbey, home to English monks who strive to keep the torch of knowledge burning during the Dark Ages. There, a 13-year-old boy named Wiglaf learns the art of healing, unaware that death is approaching aboard a Viking ship.