Zarabeth, with hair as red as an Irish sunset, is chosen by
Magnus Haraldsson, a Viking on a trading visit to York, to be his wife. She is
both stunned and fascinated by this man’s bluntness, his arrogance, his
absolute belief that she is meant to belong to him. He makes her laugh and
ultimately she gives him her trust.
But Zarabeth’s stepfather, Olav the Vain,
has no intention of setting a bride price on Zarabeth. Instead, she returns with
Magnus to his farmstead in Norway as his slave, not as his wife. She wears the
slave collar around her neck for all to see, but hides her own pain deep within
her. It is the season of the sun in Norway—the season of growth and flowering,
of treachery and malice. It is in this season that Zarabetha and Magnus, in spite of pain and suffering, learn to love each other.
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