This is a book I just couldn't put down! The story tells of two boys, Eyvind, who is ambitious to become a Wolfskin (a kind of berserker warrior) and Somerled, puny but crafty, with ambitions to become a ruler of men. To Somerled the end always justifies the means. The boys grow up and find their destinies, which are not what they (or the reader) expect. We meet Nessa, a girl born to be the priestess of her people and preserve the old ways. Mystery and enchantment permeate the pages of this book, and will be appreciated by lovers of Norse and Celtic mythology. The descriptions of the places (Norway, The Orkneys) and the way of life are well-researched and therefore vivid and convincing. And at the core of the story are the universal themes of faith and loyalty, love and death, the difficulty of making a choice. As with the "Sevenwaters" trilogy, I became totally involved in the world created by Juliet Marillier, and felt full of regret, after reading the last memorable pages, that the story was over (at least until the sequel). Great book! I would recommend it to anyone interested in the past - and in human nature.