From an award-winning author: A novel of the fierce Norse warrior who would become the lusty and powerful Viking king Harald Hardrede.
At seventeen, Harald Sigurdharson — one day to be called Hardrede — tastes the bitter nectar of blood and battle for the first time, and from that day forward he will forever crave the intoxicating brew of war. Though he knows it is his destiny to conquer and to rule, he is still young and the throne he covets is beyond his grasp. In the meantime, the wide world beckons.
Setting out from Norway after a great series of mercenary adventures in Sweden and Russia, the now towering seven-foot-tall Harald arrives at Constantinople on the Golden Horn. In the heart of an empire choking on its own intrigues and excesses, as a member of the Varangian Guard — the foreign warriors entrusted with the safety of the Byzantine emperor — and a tireless suitor to an enticing beauty from a powerful clan, Harald carves out his legend in flesh, bone, and blood. But his true path stretches to the other side of the world, for he must ultimately return to Norway, his homeland, to claim his royal birthright.
A winner of multiple awards including the Hugo and Nebula, author Poul Anderson begins an epic trilogy of historical fiction with this novel, bringing to life the eleventh-century conqueror who was known as the last Viking.
Poul Anderson (1926–2001) was born in Pennsylvania of Scandinavian stock. He started publishing science fiction in 1947 and became one the great figures in the genre, serving as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America, winning many Hugo and Nebula awards, and also winning the Gandalf (Grand Master) Award.