Redbad, son of King Aldigsl, questions the outdated rituals of his people and comes into conflict with his father when his girlfriend Fenne is chosen to be sacrificed to the gods. During the sacrificial ritual, the Franks invade the city of Dorestad. Redbad's Uncle Eibert seizes power and blames Redbad for the defeat and death of his father. Lashed to a raft, Redbad is cast adrift but survives and drifts ashore in Denmark where he is adopted by the Vikings, learning the power of his own culture in the process. After a battle against a rival clan of Svaers, he marries King Wiglek's daughter. They return to Dorestad, where he discovers that his sister is married to the son of the Frankish King, Pepijn van Herstal. He swears to liberate her but even with the army of his uncle and cousin, does not seem to have enough force to beat the Franks.