After the Norman invasion, King Malcolm of Scotland sweeps through Northumbria leaving death, destruction . . . and orphans in his wake. He also finds a queen, Margaret, sister of theling, who seeks to tame his vengeance and make reparation for the damage his sword has wielded. Two Saxon orphans, Merca and Dag, are adopted by her court, and while Dag accepts his new life and the safety it brings them, Merca is bent on revenge on the cruel King who ripped her old life from her. Merca stands in the shadow of the blessing cup that Margaret raises to the civilizing of the Scottish court. Will she learn forgiveness from her saintly Queen Margaret?