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Acerbus Erus

Vitenka is the son of a famous Kieven conqueror, and his mother was a Gypsy. When he is but 8 years old, his village is attacked by marauding Varangians, known to him and his fellow villagers as "Northmen", and both of his parents are killed. He and his siblings are kidnapped and sold as slaves to the influential Varangian jarl, Canute.

Vitenka's strange physical appearance soon attracts attention, including Canute's, and the boy is submitted to Canute's forbidden affections. But when a visiting jarl named Beowulf is  given a sight of Vitenka's abilities, however rough, to throw knives, he offers to buy him from Canute, and eventually Beowulf finds an agreeable price.

 

Vitenka's abilities to throw knives attracts the attention of many of Beowulf's warriors, and they convince Beowulf to free Vitenka so that he might become a warrior as well. Vitenka trains hard to fight, but cannot rid himself of the memories of Canute's forbidden love. Meanwhile, Beowulf's son, Ivan, grows jealous of the attention given to Vitenka, and there soon grows a strong hate between the two boys.

When Beowulf unexpectedly dies, Ivan's inability to lead the fortress becomes painstakingly clear, and the many warriors then turn to Vitenka, who has shown much promise for leadership, to take charge. Vitenka, in seizing control of the fortress, sees an opportunity to gain power and finally avenge himself of Canute's terrible love for him.

 
Click here to read the first chapter of Acerbus Erus.
 

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