The epic saga of Norway’s greatest hero concludes as the legendary Viking conqueror-king Harald Hardrede pursues his dreams of empire to the shores of England
Young Norseman Harald Hardrede eagerly followed the hand of destiny around the world, learning much of the methods of conquerors and kings. Throughout history there have been great and lauded champions who achieved far less than the towering Viking who now rightly rules Norway. But the crown sits heavily upon Harald’s head, for the throne he occupies rests on shaky ground: Treachery is brewing in the lands of a one-time ally in the North and the conquest of Denmark remains an elusive dream. The enduring sadness of his beloved wife pains him, and the sons he sired with his tempestuous mistress remain to him perplexing mysteries. As the middle years take their toll on the greatest of all Norse champions and a magnificent era approaches its end, destiny once again summons the “Lightning of the North.” Ahead lies the king’s final adventure, one last opportunity to man the dragon-prowed ships and sail across an ocean for the prize he has coveted above all others: the fortified island called Britannia.
With The Sign of the Raven, Poul Anderson, one of the acknowledged greats of fantasy and speculative fiction, concludes his enthralling Last Viking Trilogy. Employing his exceptional storytelling skills to create a masterwork of historical fiction, he brings the eleventh-century to breathtaking life, blending action and color, poignancy and power in his chronicle of the glorious and tragic final years of Norway’s most illustrious hero.
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.