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Harald Hardrada: The Last Viking
by Michael Burr
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In the dead of night, a band of Vikings ravage a lonely convent on the Brittany coast?and their fearsome leader makes a decision that will eventually lead to his downfall. Ranulf de Lannion is fifteen years old. Crippled, deformed and abandoned by his family to the charity of the convent, he is seized by the Vikings during a midnight raid. Contemptuously nicknamed 'The Scraeling by his captors, his future appears grim. Harald Sigurdsson, or 'Hardrada' as he will come to be known, is the leader of the Viking band. A violent mercenary with designs on the throne of Norway, Hardrada abducts The Scraeling on a whim. Ranulf grows into an invaluable asset, smoothing Hardrada?s path over their thirty-five years together from mercenary to commander of the Varangian Guard, all the way to king of Norway. But all is not as it seems in the heart of Ranulf de Lannion. Having sworn secret revenge upon Hardrada for the murders at the convent, he vows to end the day of the Viking forever. When the king of Norway launches an attack against the Anglo-Saxon throne of England in 1066, what role will The Scraeling play in bringing the age of the Viking to an end?
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