The Horde of the Living is growing ever weaker in consequence of the constant attacks from the Hittites. Their only hope is to sneak into enemy territory and kill the Hittite king. Which is how Thusia ends up mounting Marak's griffin and setting off for the Hittite capital. If she succeeds, the Horde will survive.
This opening episode begins with the Hittites' bloody Urar conquest, which is the first stage of a fierce conflict. Urar belongs to the rulers Marak, Kymris and Simmissee, three ancient rivals who have now united and formed one fearsome fighting force whose sole preoccupation is killing. Woe betide anyone who provokes their wrath!
As our saga reaches its conclusion, old scores are settled, new lies are told, and the spilling of human (and non-human) blood continues. Each band of travelers engages in battles where victory might mean the difference between love and love lost, life and death, or the recovery of an ancient relic. Deceit and treachery are countered by steadfast honor and promises kept. The clash between the old gods and a new one can be heard in the sounds of swords piercing flesh, and wind whispering past bodies swinging from the trees. In the lands of "Hammerfall," things are rarely as they seem.
Our heroes and villains have left the dark region of Svartalfheim, yet new dangers await. Unlikely alliances are formed in the quest to survive long enough for destinations to be reached and goals attained. In the snow-covered regions of the north, bone-chilling sorcery, divine trickery, and foul deceit all play a role in revealing the coldness of the human heart. Will the love that also burns there be enough to conquer all the evil that men-and gods-do?
Bjrn the Beautiful's march through the North with his band of slaves continues. As payment for protection and passage through Svartalfheim, some slaves have been given to the ruthless Skanes. With their family now separated, the surviving members of Harald's clan must now find ways to endure and eventually escape their servitude. Family crises, sword-play, a slave-driving poet, and sacrifices to a giant: from the intrigues of Charlemagne's court to the non-human tribes of Europe's Far North, Hammerfall follows both the expansion of a religious empire and the suffering its violent spread inflicts upon the people of the conquered territories.
In 8th-century Europe, a clash of cultures and religions inevitably leads to a clash of swords. This harsh, changing world suits Bjrn the Beautiful, who has a single passion: violence. His bloodlust led to his exile from his native land, and it's his bloodlust that brings him back. For Harald, it's the season of Jul and he's about to marry the gorgeous Lina. The festivities are interrupted by the arrival of Bjrn and his troops. With his people either slaughtered or enslaved, Harald begins a forced march with the other survivors. He wants revenge, but he must be patient like the serpent: know when to sleep, and know when to strike.
Jakob Kayne and his brother Samuel are the last of the Hippocrats. Sworn to treat those in need (and those who are deemed worthy), the two Healer-Alchemists have been tracked across the Archipelagos by manifold enemies, including the Inquisition. On his latest mission, Jakob, a formidable Memory-Eater whose face none can recall, is confronted by an obstacle as unexpected as it is persistent: feelings for his latest patient, Victoria Marcheda, amid the fiery destruction of the city of La Isabela.
Lisa Forsberg is a rookie cop who has just taken her first assignment in the small Swedish city where she was born. In her youth she was a troublemaker, part of a hard-living subculture called "raggare" who worship American rock'n'roll and vintage cars from the 1950s. Now Lisa finds herself thrown back into this world when she is sent to investigate a missing person report involving people she went to school with. She and her partner, Erik Lund, will uncover secrets that put them in harm's way and bring them face-to-face with the unspeakable.
The war is at its peak. Louise is experiencing it from her drone pilot desk, which allows her the time to deal with family disputes and to go pick up the kids from school. Yun Shao, on the other hand, is right at the heart of the conflict, face to face with a robot. But soon the corpse of a soldier killed in combat comes along to remind Louise that war is not just the video game she thinks it is, sitting comfortably in her Stockholm headquarters...
Two women--each other's nemeses. Louise Fernbach and Yun Shao. One a European soldier, the other a Catholic terrorist from China. Ever since she discovered Yun Shao was behind the deaths of some of her fallen comrades, Louise has been out for her blood. Whatever it takes. Louise shows no mercy. Louise is a drone pilot. For her, wars are just video games she plays from Stockholm HQ. For Yun Shao, they are a fight to the death with disposable machinery. Welcome to modern warfare...
When Stéphane Mezzona got involved with a group called the Divine Order of the Temple, it was time for his wife to leave him. Trouble is, he got shared custody of their two children... and now they've disappeared. After Mezzona is spotted in Sweden, Interpol agent Eric Valandier is flown in to find the kids. There isn't much to go on and, if the Order is planning what Eric thinks they are, there may not be much time either. But Sweden is an unusual place, and it has an unusual law neither Eric nor the Order knows about...
The Horde, that reunites the three largest realms of Pre-Antiquity, continues its unstoppable advance. But it's becoming increasingly clear that its greatest enemy is perhaps its own unique founding concept. While the brawls between the three clans begin to tear the great army apart, there is also a storm brewing in Thusia's mind, as she is forced to choose sides.
The Horde of the Living continues its relentless advance, growing increasingly certain of its invincibility. However, the alliance of the three kings is more fragile than they seem to think it is. The Hittites seems to be mastering their weaponry in a whole new way, and cracks are starting to appear in the Horde's unified facade. Will Thusia continue to observe from the sidelines, or will she have a greater part to play...?