The story of Beorn, an Icelandic boy who escaped slavery imposed by inherited debt when he jumped aboard a Viking vessel, will appeal to boys. Beorn's Viking companions were coastal raiders and they treated their new mascot with rough, clout-on-the-ear justice and a fair sharing of both their hardships and their spoils. His special favorite was the heroic Starkad who makes him his son and with whom he adventures until age and injury slow the bellicose Viking down. Beorn proves himself to the household. The story is set in the 9th century, and the well-known author has followed the saga style in his telling. Description takes second place to action here, but it sets the time well with politics, laws, customs and the way Christianity spread among the Scandinavians.