This gripping and bloody series continues. Earl Ragnar Lothbrok deals with struggles within the family, his brother Rollo, and his warrior's wife, Lagertha and external struggles with King Horik who needs yet despises Ragnar's savvy, strength and leadership. Now that Ragnar is earl he faces the deepening of conflicts and subterfuge of others. Horik undermines Ragnar's negotiations in the west with King Ecbert, while there are attacks upon Kattegat happening back at home by Jarl Borg. Loyalty seems almost a fluid commodity, both among warriors and in religion. When Athelstan is captured by the English King, Ecbert, he finds himself questioning Christianity vs. Valhalla. Lokki becomes disenchanted and resentful of Ragnar and begins to ally himself with Horik. During the four year alliances, shifting in all directions, Bjorn becomes a young warrior, and battles ensue, both at home and abroad.