It’s the second Viking Age in England, and King Æthelred II reigns. Five ealdormen represent him in the old Saxon kingdoms. Battles are being fought against the viking raiders looking to plunder England for her wealth. Leofwine is the ealdorman of the Hwicce. On a diplomatic mission in 994, escorting home Olaf, the King of Norway, Leofwine is gravely injured in battle, losing the sight in one eye, and badly scarring half of his face. Leofwine fears his new wife will find him repulsive and leave him, but she stands loyally by his side when he arrives home, delighted that her husband is still alive, as she had been told he died in battle. Leofwine spends time with his wife and their infant son, Northman, as he recovers from his wounds. He is a good man and a brave leader, but now his men fear his limited vision will be a hindrance when he leads them in battle, and that fear is increased when Leofwine falls in front of them. But Leofwine is smart. He trains his loyal hound Hunter to walk ahead of him, indicating where he may trip, and he trains hard to make up for his limited vision. Having lost his own father in battle with the raiders, Leofwine has taken care of the lands with the help of his father’s closest confidant, Wulfstan, since he was a boy. But he knows a great battle is looming, and he is not sure if his king, who has never lead his men in battle before, is up to the task of ridding the land of the raiders, and putting a stop to the Viking menace once and for all. Viking Sword is the first novel in the epic Earls of Mercia series, charting the final century of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom from 994-1071 through the eyes of the magnificent House of Leofwine, the only family to maintain their position for such a long period, outlasting even the mighty House of Godwine, and akin only to the long-ruling family of the House of Wessex. M J Porter is an author of Anglo-Saxon historical fiction, bringing to life long forgotten about characters from the period before the Norman Conquest. A keen history student, M J Porter has just completed an MA in History with an emphasis on primary source material and the way information is transmitted through time.