The novel starts with the new Norman Earl of Northumbria attempting to establish himself in Durham in 1069. The locals aren't keen on having a Norman overlord and the hero of the story Tancred of Dinant loses his lord, his lover and most of his friends whilst barely escaping with his own life. Then circumstances force him to swear an oath to a new lord he knows nothing about and to undertake a dangerous journey from York.
The post conquest period isn't as well known as other bits of British history so it's great to come across a story set in the era. As a debut novel it's a good start with well fleshed out characters and plenty of details about the villages and towns in the story. Having some dialogue in Anglo Saxon English isn't easy to read but it helps differentiate between the French speakers and the English.
There are plenty of twists on the way as not everyone is what they seem to be. Bloody battles at both ends of the book are not for the faint hearted! I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.