© 2016 Peter C Whitaker

The Sorrow Song Trilogy

“Some with the morrow his sword should kill, some should go to the gallows-tree for rapture of ravens.” – Beowulf.


In the aftermath of the fall of York Saxon Northumbria reels. The army of the north is destroyed, the eorls fled, only Coenred and a small but determined war-band refuse to give up hope. Together they march south to Tadcaster in the hope that the King of England will send a power to free the peoples of the north from the yoke of their ancient enemy.


King Harold realises, perhaps too late, that his hold upon the crown is being challenged for real in the north of his kingdom. He has waited all summer for the Normans to invade, having dispelled the talk of the King of Norway pressing his weak claim to the English crown.


Together, King Hardrada of Norway and Tostig Godwinson the traitor consolidate their hold on the country, confident that their’s is the position of strength. York has fallen and the Saxon power lies bleeding still on the field of Fulford Gate.


Inside the captured city Mildryth finds life for a lone woman has its risks under the rule of the Norse, but she is a determined to survive. She does not wait on Coenred, his duty has taken him far away from her, and she is needed by her friend Branda who must come to terms with losing her husband at the ill-fated battle; like so many other Saxon women.


For Wulfhere the battle also went ill, his rich lord slain, his battle-gear lost, and finding himself at the mercy of a gang of cutthroats, lost in the deep forest. With no chance of escape, Wulfhere relies on his cunning and their greed to start a new life as an outlaw, but he has not forgotten Mildryth or the wrong that she has done him.


Coenred can only think of revenge for his fallen brothers, he cannot weaken his resolve with thoughts of his lover. When the time comes he will prove himself the best of warriors, the Captain of Huscarls, and the instrument of retribution for his people.


It begins with the storming of York under the fighting man banner of King Harold of England. Coenred must lead his formidable huscarls against their ancient enemy, knowing all the while that the woman he loves lives in the hands of that same foe. He has survived one great battle, will fate allow him to escape with his life at the second great conflict of 1066; the Battle of Stamford Bridge?! The only truth is that the field of battle will be littered with the bodies of the dead; food For the Rapture of Ravens.


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For Rapture of Ravens