When King Alfred is told the great sum of Aethelflaed’s ransom – and the horror that will likely befall his daughter if Wessex does not pay – he feels there can be only one way forward despite this jeopardising the kingdom. Suspicions at Beamfleot threaten to unravel the lovers’ escape plan, and Uhtred must think on his feet if he is to secure Aethelflaed’s freedom and save Wessex. Odda risks everything for the kingdom and makes an unlikely ally, while Gisela and Uhtred contemplate a future as enemies of Alfred. In a devastating showdown at Beamfleot, there is passion, heartbreak and treachery – if Uhtred survives, will he be free to finally recapture his ancestral lands?
Aethelflaed is missing and Aethelred and the Saxons return to Winchester to break the news to King Alfred, while Uhtred goes home to Gisela with plans to uncover the truth by his own means. Alfred’s stubborn determination causes Odda to question whether the will of the king and the good of the kingdom are at odds – will he need to make a choice of loyalty between the two? Uhtred and Sigefrid come face to face for the first time since the Northmen’s banishment from Northumbria, and Uhtred is confronted with a decision which will define the fate of Wessex.
Winchester celebrates Aethelred and Aethelflaed’s wedding, but the festivities are short-lived as the clouds of war gather and Alfred runs out of options to keep the peace. When rumours swirl, Alfred’s mistrust of Uhtred reaches a new low and Uhtred is relegated in his duties as the warlord of Wessex. Aethelred is called to step up to the plate, but a fatal mistake allows Erik and Sigefrid to outwit the Saxons and terror reigns.
Uhtred is under orders from Alfred to rid Northumbria of the warlord brothers Erik and Sigefrid, but Ragnar is now free and intent on avenging Kjartan for the death of his family. Can Uhtred come to his brother’s aid without defying the king? Gisela and Uhtred make a promise, before he journeys north and confronts Guthred for his incarceration and Halig’s death. Finan has an idea for how to attack the brothers, and the results of the confrontation are shocking. Odda voices some concerns about Uhtred’s intentions but Alfred is confident he can keep Uhtred on a long leash, and Beocca brings hope where it is most needed.
Betrayed by Guthred and condemned to a life of slavery, Uhtred and Halig, along with fellow slave Finan, are forced to row endlessly on a trader ship. Meanwhile, in order to gain their allegiance, Guthred welcomes Aelfric and the savage Dane brothers Erik and Sigefrid into Eoferwic,- a reward for dispatching Uhtred. But when a dispute in the terms threatens to jeopardise the agreement, Guthred offers Gisela as a peace offering. but will she comply? Having been released from imprisonment by Alfred, Ragnar and Brida are given instruction to rescue Uhtred. Accompanied by Saxon warrior Steapa, Ragnar and Hild set off in search of the slave ship. But, with the conditions at sea worsening, will they be able to find Uhtred and Halig in time? As Ragnar travels north to confront the men who sold Uhtred into slavery, he discovers that Guthred is steadily losing control of his power. Erik and Sigefrid have failed to defeat Kjartan and are still at large in the north setting up a stronghold at York once more. Meanwhile in Wessex, Alfred seeks to further his influence over Mercia by arranging a marriage for his daughter Aethelflaed.
When spies infiltrate the Cumbraland army, Uhtred must rely on his troops to protect him from a perilous attack. He rides as the dead horseman once again, and Kjartan’s thirst for revenge grows ever stronger. Hild goes on a journey of self-discovery as she considers exchanging her life as a nun for that of a warrior and Guthred’s efforts to emulate Alfred’s conciliatory tactics backfires when his indecision and lack of ruthlessness weakens the Saxons’ position. When affection between Uhtred and Gisela reaches new heights, Uhtred’s enemies close in and he suffers a grave betrayal.
Remind yourself of all the drama from the first series of The Last Kingdom, which follows Uhtred as he sets out to seek his destiny and recapture his ancestral lands.