In the bloody height of the Dark Ages, when long ships carried Viking raiders across the waves and swords decided the fates of kingdoms, monasteries offer small pockets of civilization and learning – but Blackspire Abbey is no ordinary monastery. Located on a jagged chunk of rock off the English coast, Blackspire Abbey serves as a library for forbidden books of black magic and the occult, where heresy can be studied firsthand. Blackspire Abbey has a strange guardian – the Viking warrior known as Egil the Scarred.
Egil was not born, but created by a mysterious witch who sewed the pieces of fallen Vikings into a patchwork man, and animated Egil with magic to create an unstoppable solider with war fused into his very bones. Now, Egil is trying to end his wandering and forge an new life for himself.
But danger is coming to Blackspire Abbey. Father Enrico Dori, a priest turned Satanist and author of a bloody, heretical rebellion, comes to Blackspire Abbey in chains so that he may be studied. Inquisitor Hox, a fanatic servant of God, seeks to cleanse Blackspire Abbey of heresy with Holy Fire. Viking raiders, including Egil’s former friend Ragnar Redye, seek to raid the abbey and steal its wealth.
Egil’s only allies are Brother Cuthbert and Timothy Foundling, a wise monk and his apprentice, and Clare of Burgundy – a former nun turned outlaw queen sent to do penance in the abbey. They are the Defenders of Blackspire Abbey and they will stand against all foes and battle for the light of civilizations – and for their very lives.