Book I of the Pagans Trilogy.
When the men of Burh, settlers from continental Europe, fall upon the sleeping nomad tribe in the depths of the forest amid the Downs of southern England, Tagart is the only survivor, escaping by sheer chance after his wife and young son have been massacred. Twenty-five and heir to the chiefdom of the roving hunters, he sees his only inheritance now to be an overwhelming urge for merciless revenge - of his family, his tribe and indeed of a way of life which in the England of 5,000 years ago is steadily being eroded by these tillers of the soil. (1978 Winner of the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize.)
Tagart came out of the woods and stood facing the broad downhill sweep of the cereal field. The feeling of openness seemed strange and sudden after the embrace of the trees; he sniffed at the smell of the evening,...