Grendel prowled in, hating all men and all joy and hungry for human life. So swift was his attack that no man heard an outcry; but when the dawn came, thirty of Hothgar's best and noblest thanes were missing.
Only Beowulf, foremost among warriors, has the strength and courage to battle with Grendel the Night-stalker.
In this thrilling re-telling of the Anglo-Saxon legend, Rosemary Sutcliff recounts Beowulf's most terrifying quests: against Grendel the man-wolf, against the hideous sea-hag and, most courageous of all - his fight to the death with the monstrous fire-drake.
'As far as the eye can see, scarlet men are marching . . . A rich and splendid company, but none more so than the drummer boy.'
But a moment later, the sound of Charlie Samson's drum was swallowed in a wild thunder. The glorious scarlet troops had been ambushed. Men were dead and dying all around, and all the beauty was gone. All that was left was himself and his drum, and a few shady nightwalkers - cowards who came crawling from the ditches and knaves who scoured the dead for wealth . . .