Set in Wessex 893 as King Alfred readies his defences against another Viking invasion.
Among his many concerns is the plight of Edward, his stable boy, who he believes to be the bastard son of Matthew, a renowned warrior who died fighting for the Saxon cause. If Edward’s heritage could be proved, he would stand to inherit a vast fortune which Alfred fears would attract every fraudster in the realm. Worse still, given his noble lineage, the boy could well be used to usurp him as King.
Alfred therefore sends Edward to the burh at Wareham on the pretext of having him train Fleet, a magnificent black stallion so spirited it’s thought to be unrideable. The boy soon proves his skill with horses but is considered too puny to be a warrior. However, when the fyrd find themselves outnumbered and confronting a Viking warband, Edward’s quick thinking and extraordinary courage leave no doubt about his bloodline.