Set in the Viking Age, this book follows Oskar and his family as they have to leave Sweden and start a new life in Orkney.
Oskar lives with his mum Helga, dad Björn, and dog Fafnir on the island of Birka in Viking Age Sweden. Björn is the local chieftain, and a well-liked and respected man. However, Björn has a rival, one of the king’s closest men called Anund, who thinks that he is the rightful chieftain. When Anund’s son puts a curse on Björn, he loses all the support of the people on the island. When Anund makes sure that Björn is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Oskar and his family are banished from Birka. They leave to start a new life in Orkney, a place they’ve only heard of from traders.
After experiencing adventures at sea, they arrive in Orkney and are given a plot of land in Birsay by the Earl, Leif. They rebuild their lives, and Oskar makes friends with a half-Pictish girl called Aoife. Their new, peaceful life is disrupted when the Earl of the neighbouring district, Malcolm, sets his eyes on Birsay in his bid to rule all of Orkney.
The final pages of the book explain the archaeological/historical background to the story.