Halfdan and his master, Winston the Illuminator, are guests in a monastery when they’re awakened in the middle of the night and asked to solve a crime. A monk praying in the church has been brutally murdered, and his severed hand offers the first clue of a motive. As they investigate who could have committed such a heinous atrocity—and why—Halfdan and Winston must negotiate bitter rivalries within the monastery’s hierarchy, a sensitive class structure, and the tension between the new laws King Cnut has sworn to uphold and the codes of honor that precede them. With peace in England on shaky ground and the king’s favor of paramount importance, Halfdan and Winston follow a precarious path toward answers that no one is sure they want.
This second novel in Martin Jensen’s acclaimed King’s Hounds series delves deeply into a chaotic world where alliances change, but oaths are forever.