I was very impressed with Low's first novel, The Whale Road, and this second one carries on in the same vein. It's rough and brutal, with a human side from our narrator's point of view. This story begins in Constantinople, with Orm losing the sword he got at the end of the first novel. The rest of the story involves his attempts to track it (and his old enemy Starkad) across the western Mediterranean, and trying to keep his Oathsworn alive and be a good jarl.
Overall, it's a fantastic adventure, and I'm left unhappy that I have to wait at least six months for the third novel.