Ancient Ireland in the tenth and eleventh centuries, during the times of the warring kings, is the setting for this extravagant historical novel. Ronan MacHugh who, at 19, roamed the land with a scholar and a harper, knew neither his kin nor his clan but only that he was born noble and free, the son of a soldier. Because of his hatred for Brian Boru, lord in southern Ireland, Ronan and his vagabond band join with Malachy Mor, the High King in the north, to exact tribute from Brian. The attempt to unseat the powerful Brian is unsuccessful and eventually both kings agree to divide Ireland between them in an effort to drive out the Danes whose stronghold is Dublin. In Dublin Ronan meets the beautiful, sharp-tongued Nuala, half-Dane, half- Celt, who becomes his bondswoman, and whom he later marries. Full of fierce battles, raw politics, bewitching women this latest addition to Breslin's long line of historical fiction brims over with action, vigorous and primitive enounter.