Holland returns over the sea to the saga of Corban Loosestrife's son and nephew. Corban's son Conn is a clever and strong leader of men; his cousin and best friend, the god-touched Raef, is his shield and navigator. They have joined a fur-trading ship to Russia, and are forced to over-winter in Novgorod. While there, they take service with the leader of the Rus, Dobrynya, and with him travel south to Kiev, and then on with a raiding party down the Dnieper river into northern reaches of the Byzantine Empire.
With vivid description and passionate characters, Cecelia Holland takes the reader back to a time when heroes voyaged to the far corners of the known world. Whether fighting the ice in a deep Russian winter, sailing down a great river in a dragon ship, or wandering the elegant streets of the Black Sea city of Chersonese, Holland makes it real.
- Tom Doherty Associates, April 2008
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