It is the winter of 1046 and on the Marches between England and Wales there is an uneasy peace. Leofric is the young thane of Staneleigh, a holding close to the Welsh border. He is mourning a dead bride, but now finds himself falling for Regan, his childhood friend, who is herself in mourning and intending to take the veil. The attraction is mutual. Dafydd, attached to her household, is a traveling bard, but unknown to Leofric and Regan is also an undercover agent for the Welsh extremists who raid across the border. Dafydd's loyalties become divided—he has found friendships he did not expect, and love, not least for Edwina, a girl in Leofric's household.
Welsh raids, the political machinations of Godwin Earl of Wessex, and Leofric's meddling household mean that nothing is straightforward in this tangle of Anglo-Saxon and Welsh passions!