At 28, Beatrix thinks her life is over. The neglected daughter of a king's unwise first marriage, she devotes her time to nurse-maiding her twelve younger siblings, a lonely Cinderella in the thick of the murderous and conniving West Saxon court.
When her brother Athelstan unexpectedly accedes to the throne, everything changes. He shocks everyone by sending Beatrix north to marry Sitric One-Eye, the Viking king of York, a pact with heathen pirates that will secure Athelstan his own crown. But Beatrix is far from being the mere diplomatic puppet her brother demands.
Her new life leads her to call into question everything she once trusted: her faith, her family, and her capacity for love. When Athelstan calls on her loyalty, demanding that she betray her husband, she faces the biggest crisis of her life.