When the men of Burh, settlers from continental Europe, fall upon the sleeping nomad tribe in the depths of the forest amid the Downs of southern England, Tagart is the only survivor, escaping by sheer chance after his wife and young son have been massacred. Twenty-five and heir to the chiefdom of the roving hunters, he sees his only inheritance now to be an overwhelming urge for merciless revenge - of his family, his tribe and indeed of a way of life which in the England of 5,000 years ago is steadily being eroded by these tillers of the soil.
Tagart’s first objective for his single-handed work of retribution is the fortified village of Burh (in what is now known as the Cuckmere Valley), and the means he uses are more subtle and deadly than any traditional form of attack. This story of his revenge, his subsequent savage enslavement by the new lords of the land and his escape with Segle, the beautiful sister of another captive, introduces a new author of considerable significance. Richard Herley writes with acute sense of place, of wind and weather, of wild life and of the background of Stone Age England when the countryside is in its last virgin state before civilization begins.
Extent: 71,400 words (about 238 conventional pages)