In the 5th century AD, the Romans pulled out of Britain, and the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes moved in. The Scots also increased their raids. In the midst of this chaos, the protagonist, Eiteol, finds himself a man hunted by Hengest, leader of the Jutes; the mysterious Bishop Germanus and leader of a motley group of leftover Romanized Britons; and newly arrived Saxons. Eiteol’s “crime” was saving the elderly would-be leader of the Britons, Vertigern, from assassination. The story revolves around the journey of Eiteol and Vertigern into the hills of Wales, where they find not the peace and safety they hoped for, but more death and destruction. Along the way Eiteol and Vertigern encounter a number of narrow escapes and pick up another fugitive, a young boy named Ambris. He ends up betraying them to the forces of Bishop Germanus, where he is recognized as the son of Ambrosius Aurelianus, a former king and hero of the Britons.
The book started slowly but became more interesting the further I got into it. The plot was also difficult to discern because it seemed to be mostly just a chase tale, but there was a lot of intrigue which became clear toward the end of the book. The novel also provides a good feel for the brutishness of life in 5th-century Britain.