The lives of two boys from different cultures and countries cross, touch, then move apart, leaving both forever changed by the encounter.

The world of the warrior and the world of the scholar, by their very natures, must clash.

Lidsmod is on his first voyage, as the men of his village sail west to find gold. He sees what it means to burn and pillage, how powerful the spirit of The Berserker can be, and wins the right to his own sword and shield.

Wiglaf is short and small, with a withered left arm. He lives at the abbey, tending sheep and learning about healing herbs and plants. But the peace of his small farming village is shattered when the Norsemen invade it, killing, burning, looting, and stripping the abbey of its gold. Wiglaf knows he will never forget his fear and his horror as he sees his friends brutally slaughtered. He tries to hide, but is captured and taken aboard the Norse ship as it sails on to the next village, to live out his life as their newest slave. But the battle doesn’t go as the Norse warriors had planned, and soon Wiglaf realizes his knowledge of healing may be the key to his survival, and perhaps to his release.

This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart